Good afternoon, folks. Is Miami back? Or is its success a product of an easy schedule? Let’s talk BBNBA.
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Miami stays the course, win 4th in a row
Without Tyler Herro, the Miami Heat pulled off its fourth consecutive win after taking down the Houston Rockets on Thursday night, 101-94. The former Wildcat was placed in the COVID-19 Health and Safety protocol not long before tipoff, meaning he either tested positive for the coronavirus, received an inconclusive test, or came into close contact with someone who tested positive. The Heat has not yet announced if Herro will join the team on its upcoming road trip to Salt Lake City, or if he’ll stay in Houston or return to Miami. The team reportedly made the flight to Utah following the game.
Despite his absence, Miami was powered by a Jimmy Butler triple-double that consisted of 27 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists as the Heat now sit on an 11-14 record. They’re in the midst of a lengthy road adventure that started on Thursday in Houston and ends six games from now on Feb. 22 (five of the opponents are .500 or better). They’ll surely need Herro back for the upcoming stretch.
Bam Adebayo added a loaded stat line of 10 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists on just 3-8 shooting for the Heat. He did turn the ball over a career-high eight times and fouled out in the closing minute, but Adebayo was critical during a second-half Miami run that saw them overcome a 13-point first-quarter deficit before taking a 12-point advantage in the final frame.
While Miami’s last four wins have come against teams all under .500, with the previous three decided by seven points or less, they aren’t exactly back to championship form, but they were in need of some small burst to pull them out from the graves of injuries and COVID-19 protocols. At this point, they won’t be picky about how the wins come.
Houston, on the other hand, has now lost four straight games following an impressive run that saw them win seven out of eight games. The Rockets have been losing to middling teams, too, such as the Spurs (14-11), Hornets (12-14), and Pelicans (11-13). Led by 17 points, six rebounds, and seven assists from John Wall, his Houston squad rattled off a 9-0 run with the fourth quarter slowly coming to an end, trimming the Heat lead down to as few as three points with under 60 seconds remaining, but they couldn’t get over the final hump.
DeMarcus Cousins, who has been inserted into the starting lineup during the current Houston losing streak, was impressive once again, posting 16 points, 11 rebounds, and three assists while shooting 6-9 from the floor and 3-4 from long range. Boogie has had to assume the role of the Rockets leading scorer, Christian Wood, whose ankle injury sparked the four-game skid. Wood was averaging over 22 points per game before being sidelined and it’s forced Cousins into a more pressing position. While Houston hasn’t performed well as a team, Boogie is playing his best ball of the season, averaging 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds over his previous four outings.
Other notes from across the BBNBA
Mychal Mulder continues to play a steady role within the Golden State Warriors rotation, who is finally starting to figure things out thanks to Steph Curry’s MVP-like play. On Thursday night in the Warriors’ 111-105 win over the Orlando Magic, Mulder put up 11 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes played, connecting on four of his six shot attempts and 3-4 from distance. It was just the third time this season that he’s hit double-digits scoring (all Warriors wins) but he’s seen at least 10 minutes of action in four of the last five games for Golden State off the bench.
Enes Kanter recorded his 13th double-double of the season and his eighth over his last nine games in the Portland Trail Blazers 118-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. The one-time Kentucky big man posted 10 points and 14 rebounds going up against Philly’s MVP candidate Joel Embiid, who dropped 35 points on 13-25 shooting. Tyrese Maxey added five points and one rebound for the 76ers in 12 minutes played.
Check out the full box sheet below.
|John Wall (HOU)||94-101 L vs. MIA||17||5-13 (4-9)||6||7||1||0||5||-6||36|
|DeMarcus Cousins (HOU)||94-101 L vs. MIA||16||6-9 (3-4)||11||3||1||0||1||-3||25|
|Mychal Mulder (GSW)||111-105 W vs. ORL||11||4-6 (3-5)||5||1||0||0||0||+14||16|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||101-94 W @ HOU||10||3-8 (0-0)||13||8||2||0||8||+3||33|
|Enes Kanter (POR)||118-114 W vs. PHI||10||5-12 (0-0)||14||2||0||0||1||-7||32|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||114-118 L @ POR||5||2-8 (0-3)||1||0||0||0||0||-13||12|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||101-94 W @ HOU||DNP-COVID-19 protocols||--||--||--||--||--||--||--||--|
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
7:00: Timberwolves (Towns, Vanderbilt) @ Hornets (Monk, Richards, Washington)
7:00: Knicks (Knox, Noel, Quickley, Randle) @ Wizards
7:30: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles) @ Hawks (Rondo-out)
7:30 (ESPN): Pelicans (Bledsoe, Gabriel) @ Mavericks (Cauley-Stein)
8:00: Clippers (Patterson) @ Bulls
8:00: Pistons @ Celtics
9:00: Thunder (Diallo, Gilgeous-Alexander-out, Noel) @ Nuggets (Murray)
9:00: Bucks @ Jazz
10:00 (ESPN): Grizzlies @ Lakers (Davis-questionable)
10:00: Cavaliers @ Trail Blazers (Kanter)
10:00: Magic @ Kings (Fox)