NBA Daily Rundown: Herro’s Heroics Saves The Day For The Heat
Herro’s late-game treys help Miami hold off Chicago
The Miami Heat had to rely on the clutch performance of their prized rookie as they defeated the Chicago Bulls in overtime, 110-105. Tyler Herro led the charge for the Heat with a game-high 27 points built on five hits from three-point territory. Jimmy Butler came through with another all-around stat line of 23 points and 7 assists, while young budding center Bam Adebayo tallied a double-double outing of 21 points, 13 boards, 6 assists and 3 steals.
But it was a rookie who saved the day for the Heat as he scored 16 of the team’s final 18 points in regulation and in overtime. Herro also added 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a steal to his name, capping off in what could be the most unforgettable night of his young career. Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra credited his young stalwart, emphasizing how Herro performs at his best during the game’s most crucial moments, as per Sekou Smith of NBA.com.
“You saw him dig into games in college. In the biggest moments, that’s when he’s playing his best. As we’ve gotten to know him in the short period of time, you can see his confidence. If your max player trusts you at that point in a game, and Jimmy was looking for him, that says all you need to know.
The trust has been earned within our walls and Jimmy has seen what this kid can do in those situations. You see the confidence but can’t really define it. You just see it in Tyler day by day.”
The win also salvaged the Heat’s unblemished record at home. They have now won ten straight games at their home turf, improving their record to 17-6 overall. The Heat has also won the first two games of their current four-game home stand, which will continue in a match-up against Trae Young and end with a face-off with LeBron James and the league-leading Los Angeles Lakers.
Lauri Markkanen topscored for the Bulls with 22 points and 7 boards, while Zach LaVine chipped in 18 points and 2 steals. Defensive point guard Kris Dunn totalled 16 markers, and veteran combo forward Thaddeus Young came off the bench to contribute 12 points and 4 rebounds.
Dunn emphasized that the effort was there for him and his teammates, but they just couldn’t get the positive end of the breaks of the game, as per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.
''Definitely frustrated to lose. But we played well. A lot of guys played well. I thought we did the right things to put us in position to win the game. We just didn't come up with the victory.''
The Bulls will just have a single night to rest before they go up against Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors in the second leg of their back-to-back schedule.
Sixers remain undefeated at home
The Philadelphia 76ers showed incredible composure as they weathered a late storm from the Toronto Raptors to come aways with a 110-104 victory. Tobias Harris continued his consistent scoring spree as he netted a team-high 26 points, while rookie Matisse Thybulle impressed with 20 markers off the bench. Ben Simmons produced a near triple-double stat line of 16 points, 11 boards and 9 assists as Philly improved their undefeated home record to 12-0.
Coming off a blow-out win against the Cleveland Cavaliers just the night prior, the Sixers were still able to race right out the gates in the first half. They built a 15-point lead after two quarters, then increased that to 18 by the end of the third period. The Raptors came roaring back in the payoff period but the Sixers already had enough cushion to douse the fire on Toronto’s comeback attempt.
But the spotlight of the night was shone at Thybulle’s direction, who also hit five three-pointers to highlight his brilliant outing. Harris only had positive things to say towards his impressive rookie teammate, as per Kevin F. Love of SB Nation’s Liberty Ballers.
“Matisse is great. I was telling him in there [locker room], “don’t let the last minute and 30 seconds kill your vibe of that game because you really helped us win that game tonight.” I thought his energy was amazing. He was able to knock down big shots, big threes, that really pushed our lead each and every time they tried to make a run. He was amazing out there. I mean, he’s an amazing player, an amazing person, an amazing rookie, too. Every night I’m on him, each and every game, to continue to progress and continue to stay ready and locked in. He’s really catching his stride now.”
Veteran All-Star Kyle Lowry led the way for the visiting Raptors squad, finishing with 26 points, 6 boards and 5 dimes in the loss. Young defensive stalwart OG Anunoby carried his impact on both ends of the floor as he amassed 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 steals. Pascal Siakam had a fairly quiet scoring night of only 16 markers, missing all of his four attempts from beyond the arc.
The loss extends Toronto’s losing skid to three games, bowing out to perennial playoff contenders like the Heat, the Houston Rockets and now the Sixers. Siakam expressed his disappointment on how passive the team’s performance has been in this tough drought.
“We have to get back to being us and playing basketball the way that we play. Kind of like impose our will a little bit more. These past three games, we’ve been passive and not ourselves.”
The defending champs will try to end their losing streak as they travel to Chicago to face Zach LaVine and the Bulls on Monday.
Dinwiddie issues dagger as Nets turn back Nuggets
Spencer Dinwiddie again proved to be the hero for his team as the Brooklyn Nets hacked out a morale-boosting 105-102 victory over the powerhouse Denver Nuggets squad. Dinwiddie led the way again for the Nets as he tallied 24 points and 8 assists, including the game-winning drive that iced Brooklyn’s 13th win of the season. Jarrett Allen chipped in a double-double performance of 19 points and 11 rebounds, and veteran swingman Garrett Temple contributed 15 markers on three hits from deep.
It was a see-saw type of affair for both squads, but Dinwiddie’s lay-up with under 30 seconds left on the clock proved to be the game-winner for the home team. It was a great testament for the character of the Nets, who were still missing the services of Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert. Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson praised his players for showing out against an elite team in the Western Conference, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
“With some guys being out, beating an elite team in this league — you say well our schedule hasn’t been the hardest in the world — but this is a darn good team. It’s rare that you get too excited about a win, but this one gets you excited that we can compete with the best teams in the league even with a few guys out.”
Nikola Jokic topscored for Denver with 24 points and 11 boards, while Jamal Murray poured in 21 points and 5 assists. The Nuggets drop to a 14-7 record as they have now lost four of their last five games. The road doesn’t get easier for them as they travel to Philadelphia and face Joel Embiid and the 76ers on Tuesday.
Atlanta Hawks defeated the Charlotte Hornets, 122-107
Los Angeles Clippers beat the Washington Wizards, 135-119
Sacramento Kings won against the Dallas Mavericks, 110-106
Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 108-96
Minnesota Timberwolves lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, 125-142