Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul move quickly in NBA free agency
Point guards were the immediate focus when the NBA’s free agency window opened Monday night, with Kyle Lowry headed to the Miami Heat, Lonzo Ball on his way to the Chicago Bulls while Chris Paul and Mike Conley landed lucrative deals to remain with their current teams.
USA Basketball picks 57 players for men's Tokyo Games pool
USA Basketball is a step closer to choosing the team that will play in this summer’s rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, releasing the names Thursday of 57 players who are part of the pool to fill the squad. It’s also already drawing major interest from some NBA stars who have yet to taste Olympic gold. USA Basketball will pare the list to a 12-person Olympic team by early summer. Jordan, who now plays for Brooklyn, is also a newcomer to the pool even though he was on the 2016 Olympic team. “But for USA Basketball to receive the commitment of so many outstanding players remains an indicator of the great honor of representing your country means to these men.”
Curry sinks final shot, tops Conley for second 3-point title
(AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)ATLANTA – Stephen Curry shot his way to another 3-point title and Domantas Sabonis made sure the Skills Challenge still belongs to the bigs. Conley had the lead with 27 points before Curry was the final shooter of the contest. Curry had 26 points before sinking his final shot from the corner for 28 points and the win. Tatum led off the final round with 17 points while making only one shot from the “money ball” rack. In the final, Toppin took off from near the free-throw line, inspiring comparisons to Wilkins' winning form while with the Atlanta Hawks.
NBA reveals All-Star skills, 3-point, dunk participants
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Phoenix’s Devin Booker have been 3-point champions at All-Star weekend before, and they’ll try to win that trophy again Sunday. The NBA revealed the 15 players Tuesday who will be taking part in the other on-court events besides the All-Star Game in Atlanta, with the overwhelming majority of them pulling double-duty between those competitions and the game itself. They’ll be joined by Portland’s Robert Covington, the only current NBA player who is a graduate of a historically Black college and university. It will be held at halftime of the All-Star Game, while the skills competition and 3-point contest will occur pregame. Atlanta, Charlotte, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio and Toronto have no one participating in All-Star night events.
Butler, Dragic carry Heat past NBA-best Jazz, 124-116
Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk (9) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Royce O'Neale defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – The Miami Heat don't believe in statement wins. “A high-level game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, “and we had some big plays down the stretch." Duncan Robinson scored 15 and Kendrick Nunn added 12 for the Heat, who held Utah to 29% shooting in the fourth quarter. It was the sixth game in Heat history in which both teams had at least 94 points through three quarters.
NBA chooses All-Star reserves, with Zion among first-timers
New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson (1) goes to the basket in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)New Orleans forward Zion Williamson now can be called an NBA All-Star, and only three others in the game’s 70-year history have gotten there at a younger age. Phoenix’s Chris Paul is an All-Star for the 11th time, and Brooklyn’s James Harden is one for the ninth consecutive year. The rest of the reserves include Philadelphia’s Ben Simmons, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic from the Eastern Conference, along with the Los Angeles Lakers’ Anthony Davis, the Los Angeles Clippers’ Paul George, Utah teammates Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, and Portland’s Damian Lillard from the Western Conference. But this will be his first time in the All-Star Game itself.
Heat hold off depleted Lakers 96-94 in NBA Finals rematch
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, right, tries to pass as Miami Heat guard Gabe Vincent defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. The Heat even kept it together to pull out a win over the defending NBA champions despite a fourth quarter that nearly went wrong. Nunn scored 27 points, Jimmy Butler had 24 points and eight rebounds, and Miami held off the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 Saturday night in an NBA Finals rematch. Kyle Kuzma scored 23 points while hitting four 3-pointers, and Montrezl Harrell had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers. ... Goran Dragić missed his eighth straight game with a sprained left ankle.
Jimmy Butler has triple-double, leads Heat past Rockets
Houston Rockets' DeMarcus Cousins, right, gets possession of the ball next to Miami Heat's Jimmy Butler during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Houston. (Carmen Mandato/Pool Photo via AP)(AP) – Jimmy Butler had a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists and the Miami Heat overcame a slow start to beat the slumping Houston Rockets 101-94 on Thursday night. They remained up by 12 after a dunk by Adebayo before Houston used a 9-0 run to get to 97-94 with less than a minute to go. AdThe Heat missed two shots after that but got the rebound both times, with Butler grabbing the second one. The Heat used a 12-0 run to take a 70-59 lead in the third quarter and limited the Rockets to just 10 points in the quarter.
Heat say Herro may miss time for virus-related issue
(AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – The Miami Heat may have another player missing games for virus-related reasons, after second-year guard Tyler Herro revealed that someone who lives with him tested positive for COVID-19. The reason the Heat cited for having Herro on the report is the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which only means it is a virus-related reason and does not suggest that he tested positive. If Herro cannot play Monday, he’d become the ninth Heat player on that list. Herro is tested daily and obviously had not tested positive Saturday, since the NBA and Heat permitted him to be on the floor; he played a team-high 40 minutes and scored 15 points. “Someone who lives with me tested positive before the game and I found out at halftime.
'We have to figure this out': Heat say turnaround will come
Miami Heat players Udonis Haslem, left, talks to Jimmy Butler during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Miami. The Miami Heat aren’t believing that quite yet — even after a disastrous start to the 2020-21 campaign. “Heat Nation, we are going to figure this out,” All-Star center Bam Adebayo said. AdThe year after losing the finals has not been kind to the most recent teams who have dropped the title series. Tyler Herro missed seven games with neck spasms.
Harden, Durant help Nets break away late, beat Heat 98-85
(AP Photo/Adam Hunger)NEW YORK – James Harden and Kevin Durant each scored 20 points despite three relatively quiet quarters, and the Brooklyn Nets broke away with a big run in the fourth to beat the Miami Heat 98-85 on Monday night. Kyrie Irving added 16 points for the Nets, who completed a sweep of the Heat in two games that couldn't have been more different. Bam Adebayo had 26 points, 10 rebounds and five assists in a strong follow-up to his career-high 41 points Saturday. Miami took a 45-41 edge into halftime, going just 4 for 19 on 3s but doubling the Nets' makes after they went 2 for 17. Nets: Durant missed his first six 3-point attempts before sinking one in the third quarter.
Durant, Irving help Nets hold off Adebayo, Heat 128-124
Miami Heat's Gabe Vincent (2) defends against Brooklyn Nets' Kevin Durant (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in New York. Kevin Durant scored 31 points, Kyrie Irving took over late and had 28 and the Nets overcame Adebayo's career-high 41 points to beat the Miami Heat 128-124 on Saturday night. Irving helped pull the Nets through with 12 points in the final 5:48 after the Heat had erased nearly all of an 18-point deficit. Adebayo beat the buzzer with a jumper, than Miami opened the fourth with a 13-0 run to get within 96-95. Irving, Harden and Durant quickly combined for eight straight points but Adebayo kept coming, and the Nets needed a couple of clutch baskets from Irving and late free throws to pull it out.
Pritchard's putback pushes Celtics past Heat, 107-105
Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) drives to the basket as Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (14) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)MIAMI – Rookie guard Payton Pritchard wasn't there last season when the Boston Celtics lost to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Jimmy Butler had 26 points for Miami, which got 16 points from Duncan Robinson, 15 points from Bam Adebayo and 14 from Goran Dragic. TIP-INSCeltics: Stevens called Spoelstra before the game to alert him of the Celtics' meeting and consideration of not playing. Heat: Miami’s streak of a different starting five in every game this season ended; the Heat used the same opening lineup as they did Monday against Oklahoma City.
Heat avenge embarrassment, rally to top Bucks 119-108
Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, bottom, and Miami Heat forward Precious Achiuwa go for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – The Miami Heat engineered a 58-point turnaround against the Milwaukee Bucks in 24 hours. “Started to feel like Miami Heat basketball again,” Herro said. Milwaukee is 2-3 this season; the Bucks started 24-3 last season. “You want to constantly develop some grit and some toughness during the course of a long season," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Spoelstra stays perfect on Christmas, Heat beat Pels 111-98
New Orleans Pelicans guard Eric Bledsoe (5) dribbles against Miami Heat guard Goran Dragic (7) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 25, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Joel Auerbach)MIAMI – Erik Spoelstra remained perfect on Christmas, and a record-tying show from Duncan Robinson helped him stay that way. Robinson made seven 3-pointers — tying the most on Christmas ever — and scored 23 points, and the Heat beat the New Orleans Pelicans 111-98 to start the NBA’s holiday quintupleheader Friday. Spoelstra moved to 8-0 on Christmas as coach of the Heat. COMING HOMEVeteran ref John Goble was crew chief and got to be home for Christmas; he’s a Miami native.
Irving leads rout of Celtics in return to Boston Garden
Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III (44) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game, Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in Boston. Irving scored 17 points on 7-of-15 shooting and had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals helping the Nets rout the Celtics 113-89 Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams. There were no fans in the new Boston Garden on Friday night, and his introduction was greeted with a faint, fake cheer. Precious Achiuwa scored 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Heat, while Bam Adebayo scored 13 points and Tyler Herro scored 10. McCollum led the Blazers with 26 points on 8-of-20 shooting and Gary Trent Jr. added 18 points in the loss.
Butler loses last game in the bubble after memorable run
There will be no more coffee customers with the bubble closing down, though he kept it open far longer than expected with some of the most inspired NBA Finals play seen in years. Butler carried the Miami Heat all the way to Game 6 against the favored Los Angeles Lakers but the weight of his efforts seemed to leave him with little energy Sunday. “I didn’t win so none of the stats matter,” Butler said. But Butler made no excuses, not only saying the Heat could win, but that they should win. Denying Butler the salesman was easier for Vogel than clamping down on Butler the basketball player.
Bubble Kings: Lakers run past Heat for 17th NBA championship
For the first time since Kobe Bryant's fifth and final title a decade ago, the Lakers are NBA champions. James had 28 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 106-93 on Sunday night to win the NBA Finals in six games. James (Miami, Cleveland) and Danny Green (San Antonio, Toronto) added their names to that list with this title. HEAT SEASONMiami led the NBA with 94 games played this season — 30 more than Minnesota, which played the fewest in the NBA. The Heat finished with 1,247 3-pointers this season, including playoffs, 290 more than any other year in team history.
Heat force Game 6, top Lakers to stave off elimination
“That’s Jimmy Butler," Heat center Bam Adebayo said. Butler got fouled with 46.7 seconds left, then slumped over the baseline video boards, clearly exhausted. He made both foul shots for a one-point lead; Davis’ putback with 21.8 seconds left got the Lakers back on top. Butler drove the lane, drew contact and made both with 16.8 seconds left for a 109-108 lead. Lakers: James and Davis were a combined 24 for 36.
Lakers will look to close Heat out in Game 5 of NBA Finals
Boxes are being shipped out of the NBA bubble in advance of the looming shutdown. The NBA Finals — and the longest season in league history, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and 4-1/2 month shutdown that followed — could end on Friday night, with James and the Lakers going into Game 5 with a 3-1 series lead over the Miami Heat. “I think we all know that tomorrow night is also a must-win for us, just as much as it is a must-win for the Heat,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. The Lakers will aim to head into Friday night with the same desperation that Miami will have while facing elimination. Jimmy Butler, Miami’s leading scorer and best player by far in the series, said he’ll set the Heat example for Game 5 by demanding more of everything from himself.
A moment of rest finally arrives at the NBA Finals
Like it or not, the NBA Finals are on hiatus until Friday — the first two-day break in this series between the Lakers and Miami Heat. When Game 5 happens, the Lakers will enter with a 3-1 series lead and on the brink of their 17th NBA championship. “For me, I mean, at this point in the season, I don’t care about rest,” James said. James’ teams — two in Miami, one in Cleveland — are 3-0 in finals games when they stand a win away from a championship. “I know Spo going into Game 5,” James said.
Lakers top Heat 102-96, take 3-1 lead in NBA Finals
James and the Lakers are back in control of these NBA Finals, one win away from the franchise's 17th championship. James finished with 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Anthony Davis' 3-pointer with 39.5 seconds left finally settled matters and the Lakers beat the Miami Heat 102-96 in Game 4. The Lakers lead 3-1 and can win the title when the series resumes Friday. 3-1 LEADSThis is the 36th time that a team has held a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. It was just the third time in the last 26 NBA Finals games that neither team reached 50 points in the first 24 minutes.
Adebayo back in Heat lineup for Game 4; Dragic still out
Adebayo was active for Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, the Heat making that determination more than hour before game time. “Bam is the heart and soul of this team,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game. Those tests, a person with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press, proved impossible for Adebayo before Game 2 and were not able to be completed to the team’s satisfaction before Game 3. Dragic hasn’t played since tearing the plantar fascia in the first half of Game 1 of the series against the Lakers. In the playoffs, both raised their numbers: Dragic became the starting point guard and has averaged 19.9 points while Adebayo entered Tuesday averaging 17.8 points and 10.9 rebounds.
Coffee talk: Butler, Heat look to even up the NBA Finals
The Heat might apply the same approach going forward in these NBA Finals. Game 4 is Tuesday night, and much like Butler’s coffee-sales strategy, the Heat may stick with what works. You have to be extraordinary.”Butler had 40 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in Miami’s Game 3 win. Extraordinary, the word Spoelstra used, doesn’t even truly cover it -- out of the 8,175 game appearances by players in the NBA Finals, Butler was the first to have a 40-point triple-double in a finals win, and one of only three with one regardless of outcome. “I’ve never predetermined my game,” James said.