Buzzer-beaters are becoming the norm in NBA basketball this season. Yesterday’s lineup included several extremely tight games that came down to the wire, as well as a few blowouts, as the second half of the season is set to get underway. If Sundays are meant to be relaxed and stress-free, the NBA didn’t get the memo.
Celtics Squeak By The Wiz
The Boston Celtics edged out the Washington Wizards 111-110 yesterday, thanks to a last-minute effort by Jayson Tatum. Two baskets in the last 15 seconds gave him 31 points on the night, and helped Boston take the come-from-behind win. Kemba Walker added 21 points and Daniel Theis picked up 20, and the win allows the Celtics to pick up two straight.
Houston Rockets fans desperate to see their team turn things around were left unimpressed yesterday. The Memphis Grizzlies didn’t have any problem taking a 133-84 victory that gave the Rockets their 11th straight loss. Memphis is seeing more productivity out of Justise Winslow, who was out of commission for more than a year due to a hip injury, and he picked up 20 points. That was his best performance since October 2019 when he was playing for the Miami Heat. As a reflection of Houston’s embarrassing year, the team only made four three-pointers out of 45 attempts and ended the game with a field goal percentage of just 27.7%.
Antetokounmpo Too Much For The Clippers
The LA Clippers may have a slightly better record than the Milwaukee Bucks, but that doesn’t mean they’re unstoppable. The Greek Freak turned up the heat for the Bucks last night, hitting 18 baskets to give Milwaukee its fifth straight win. It was a game that could have gone either way until the final minutes, with the Clippers in the lead well into the fourth quarter, but the Bucks fought back and kept the Clippers from scoring in the last four minutes to win 105-100.
The Atlanta Hawks lost another one last night as the Heat went on a fourth-quarter, 10-0 run to secure a 109-99 victory. Trae Young had tried to keep the Hawks alive, picking up three trips to the foul line in the last quarter where he went 6-0. Now, with a little more than four and a half minutes left in the game, the Hawks and the Heat were tied at 92, but the Heat began to gain momentum and hit three unanswered buckets. The win gave Miami its sixth straight victory this season (the longest winning streak in the league right now) and put the team right at 17-17. With Jimmy Butler sidelined due to knee trouble, the Heat’s performance shows that the team is still capable of another postseason appearance.
Lakers Dominate The Warriors
Draymond Green left his teammates before the half yesterday as the Golden State Warriors forward sprained his ankle coming down following an attempted block on LA Lakers’ guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Whether his absence played a role in the team’s performance the rest of the game isn’t certain, but the Lakers finally came together and pulled off a win. They took a 117-91 victory as King James put up 19 points and Kyle Kuzma added 12. The Lakers controlled the ball from the start of the game, building a 20-point lead by the end of the first quarter. By the half, they were up 73-44 and didn’t look back when the second half began.
The Charlotte Hornets came out of nowhere to pick up a last-second win against the Sacramento Kings. Thanks to 42 points by PJ Washington, Charlotte had remained in the game, but it wasn’t until a shot from beyond the paint by Malik Monk with 1.4 seconds left that the Hornets sealed the deal. LaMelo Ball had a good night, as well, putting up 24 points, but Charlotte was behind the entire game until Monk’s buzzer-beater, which gave the team a 127-126 win. The Kings have now taken their tenth defeat in 11 games.
For the rest of the lineup from yesterday, the New York Knicks beat an underwhelming Detroit Pistons 109-90 and the Phoenix Suns had no problems taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves, 118-99. The game between the Chicago Bulls and Toronto Raptors was postponed.