Another day, another ferocious battle of UK bigs in NBA primetime. Tuesday’s action saw Julius Randle and Anthony Davis square off in a matchup with large playoff implications, plus a big win for the Heat and a fateful loss for the Suns. On today’s BBNBA, we’re talking all the league’s late-night happenings and what it means as we charge toward the final weekend of the regular season.
THT three proves the difference in huge Lakers win
The Knicks and Lakers may not be top-three in the standings this year, but the folks at NBA on TNT know an exciting matchup when they see one — and this one certainly lived up to the hype. Both teams had a lot on the line, as New York was trying to nail down their first playoff bid since 2013 (and teetering on the edge of first-round home-court advantage), while L.A. is jostling with Dallas and Portland out West for the right to a play-in bye. The Lakers came out on top, but not before Julius Randle and Anthony Davis put on quite a show in this tense overtime clash.
Davis was hot, coming off a huge 42-point performance in Sunday’s win over the Suns. Last time the two teams played, Randle scored 34 in a 15-point win at Madison Square Garden. That all went out the window on Tuesday, as each team put everything they had into earning a win. Davis didn’t hesitate, going right at Randle early for this drive-and-dish to set up Andre Drummond:
AD squared! pic.twitter.com/xvRKhbTy0D
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 12, 2021
Still, the Knicks held a one-point lead at the break thanks to 30 combined from Randle and Derrick Rose. That lead would grow to as high as 10 in the fourth quarter, but L.A. battled back. Still, the Knicks had a chance to put it away late in regulation; up two with the ball and 30 seconds left. They gave the ball to Randle, who drove right at AD and got a shot clock violation for his troubles. Check out this phenomenal defense by the brow:
— Laker Film Room (@LakerFilmRoom) May 12, 2021
The Lake Show sent it to overtime on a Wesley Matthews tip-in, but once again it was Randle who refused to give up. Down two with just over a minute left, he buried the clutch trey right over Davis’ outstretched hands:
IN HIS EYESpic.twitter.com/yNMXuqJ6fa
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) May 12, 2021
The Knicks wound up getting the ball back too, thanks to a hustle strip by Rose — who finished with 27 points — but were unable to convert. That left the door open for the Lakers, and they cashed in with this game-winning three by Talen Horton-Tucker.
THT called game.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) May 12, 2021
The Lakers were led by Kyle Kuzma’s 23 points in the win, while Davis chipped in 20 on 8-23 shooting against the Knicks’ stiff defense. Randle ended with 31 points and eight rebounds, while Nerlens Noel added five rebounds and a block to his four points. Immanuel Quickley sat out his third straight game with an ankle injury.
With the loss, New York dropped into a three-way tie with the Hawks and Heat for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings. If the year ended today, they would wind up with the six-seed due to the active tiebreakers. However, they still have three winnable home games on the schedule this week, starting with the Spurs on Thursday. The Lakers are now within a game of a fifth-place tie with the Mavericks and Blazers heading into tonight’s matchup with the tanking Rockets.
Suns drop another to Dubs, 116-122
The Suns’ path to earning their first one-seed since 2007 is growing dimmer. Tuesday’s six-point loss to the Warriors was their third in four games, meaning they would probably have to win out their next three to have any chance of catching the Jazz at this point. However, considering the current seven- and eight-seeds out West are Golden State (winners of six of seven) and the Lakers, the difference may not end up meaning much.
Devin Booker had another excellent game, scoring 34 points on 11-21 shooting with four treys in the loss. He helped them build a sizable 16-point lead in the first half, but 13 fourth-quarter points from Andrew Wiggins (who finished with 38) proved lethal as the Warriors came back late to take the victory. Steph Curry finished with 21 despite hitting just one three in 11 attempts.
Off the bench for the Dubs, Mychal Mulder got plenty of minutes but evidently caught Curry’s cold-shooting bug, as he ended with just five points on 2-10 from the field. The win was a big one for the Warriors, as it maintained their half-game edge on the Grizzlies for a spot in the 7-8 play-in game. The Suns still hold a two-game lead on the Clippers for the two-seed heading into Thursday’s big matchup with Portland.
Bam, Herro combine for 46 in win over Celtics
The Miami Heat continues to quietly take care of business as we enter playoff seeding crunch time. They beat the Celtics for the second straight game on Tuesday, their sixth win in seven games overall. This one clinched a playoff spot, plus allowed them to keep pace with the Hawks and come even with the Knicks in a late-season run-off for home-court advantage. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Heat are slotted in fifth place.
The team’s biggest concern right now is probably Jimmy Butler, who left yesterday’s game with an eye injury and is day-to-day. However, it didn’t matter much in this one, as Miami got 17+ from five different players to earn the 129-121 win on the road. Tyler Herro led the way with 24 points and 11 rebounds, his third 20-point game in the last five. Bam Adebayo added 22, seven and five, and the two former ‘Cats combined to shoot a very efficient 20-30 from the field. Miami also got 10 made threes between Duncan Robinson and Goran Dragic, who scored 22 and 17 respectively. The team effort was just enough to overcome Kemba Walker’s 36.
The Celtics are in serious danger of missing the playoffs, as they fell to three games behind Miami, Atlanta and New York with the loss, and hold a slim two-game advantage over Charlotte and Orlando for seventh. They play the Cavs tonight, while Miami looks forward to a huge matchup with the Sixers on Thursday.
More from last night:
– Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 28 in a win over Detroit, as the Timberwolves continue to do a terrible job of tanking in the season’s final weeks. At this rate, they might even wind up finishing the year on a positive note. Yikes.
– Willie Cauley-Stein had perhaps his best game of the season in Dallas’ loss to the Grizzlies, producing 16 points and eight rebounds in 15 minutes of action. He’s got a lot on the line this offseason as the Mavericks must decide whether or not to pick up his option for next year.
– Reigning BBNBA Player of the Week Tyrese Maxey scored 11 points in Philly’s 94-103 loss to the Pacers with Joel Embiid resting. In the 25 games this year where he’s played 16 minutes or more, Maxey has scored in double-figures 17 times.
|Devin Booker (PHX)||116-122 L @ GSW||34||11-21 (4-9)||7||4||0||0||4||-5||39|
|Julius Randle (NYK)||99-101 L (OT) @ LAL||31||11-26 (4-8)||8||5||0||0||3||-7||44|
|Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN)||119-100 W @ DET||28||10-19 (4-11)||8||5||3||0||2||+32||34|
|Tyler Herro (MIA)||129-121 W @ BOS||24||10-15 (4-7)||11||3||1||0||3||+10||34|
|Bam Adebayo (MIA)||129-121 W @ BOS||22||10-15 (0-0)||7||5||1||2||4||+8||34|
|Anthony Davis (LAL)||101-99 W (OT) vs. NYK||20||8-23 (0-1)||6||4||1||0||3||+7||43|
|Willie Cauley-Stein (DAL)||104-133 L @ MEM||16||7-8 (0-0)||8||1||0||0||1||+1||15|
|P.J. Washington (CHA)||112-117 L vs. DEN||13||4-16 (0-9)||11||4||4||4||2||-16||40|
|Tyrese Maxey (PHI)||94-103 L @ IND||11||4-9 (0-1)||2||3||1||2||1||-1||16|
|Rajon Rondo (LAC)||115-96 W @ TOR||11||3-3 (3-3)||2||4||1||0||3||-3||15|
|Malik Monk (CHA)||112-117 L vs. DEN||8||3-6 (1-3)||4||3||0||0||3||-4||17|
|Jarred Vanderbilt (MIN)||119-100 W @ DET||7||3-4 (0-0)||8||1||0||0||0||+23||20|
|Mychal Mulder (GSW)||122-116 W vs. PHX||5||2-10 (1-7)||1||1||0||0||0||-9||21|
|Nerlens Noel (NYK)||99-101 L (OT) @ LAL||4||1-3 (0-0)||5||0||0||1||0||-9||24|
|DeMarcus Cousins (LAC)||115-96 W @ TOR||2||0-3 (0-1)||3||0||2||0||1||-2||7|
|Kevin Knox (NYK)||99-101 L (OT) @ LAL||DNP – Coach’s decision||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Patrick Patterson (LAC)||115-96 W @ TOR||DNP – Coach’s decision||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Nick Richards (CHA)||112-117 L vs. DEN||DNP – Coach’s decision||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Hamidou Diallo (DET)||100-119 L vs. MIN||DNP – COVID-19 Protocols||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Immanuel Quickley (NYK)||99-101 L (OT) @ LAL||DNP – Ankle injury||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|De’Aaron Fox (SAC)||122-106 W vs. OKC||DNP – COVID-19 Protocols||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (OKC)||106-122 L @ SAC||DNP – Foot injury||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|Jamal Murray (DEN)||117-112 W @ CHA||DNP – ACL||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
TODAY IN THE NBA
7:00 (ESPN): Wizards @ Hawks
8:00: Spurs (Johnson, Lyles*) @ Nets
8:00: Celtics @ Cavs
9:00: Pelicans (Bledsoe, Gabriel) @ Mavericks (WCS)
9:30 (ESPN): Trail Blazers (Kanter) @ Jazz
10:30: Rockets (Wall*) @ Lakers (Davis)
* – inactive