Brooklyn Nets 129, Los Angeles Clippers 120 — Break up the Nets?? Brooklyn opened up a 45-24 lead after one quarter and never gave up the lead across the length of 48 minutes while handing LA their third loss of the Restart.
Doc Rivers did coach his squad back into the game as the Clips tied the game up twice early in the third quarter and came close to doing it again later in the period. However, Brooklyn reclaimed control of the game and pushed the lead back into double digit territory in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Caris LeVert led Brooklyn with 27 points, while Joe Harris and Tyler Johnson both cleared the 20 point bar against the Clippers. Kawhi Leonard had 39 points, two rebounds, and six assists in this one and it really kind of didn’t mean anything at all. Paul George sat this one out for Doc, but that does make a certain amount of sense. LA still holds a game and a half lead on Denver for the #2 seed in the Western Conference, and their next game is against — SURPRISE — the Nuggets.
Toronto Raptors 114, Milwaukee Bucks 106 — No Giannis Antetokounmpo, Wesley Matthews left the game with a leg injury after just a couple of minutes, and the Bucks committed 19 turnovers. That’s how you lose a game to the second best team in the Eastern Conference. Maybe that’s not how you fall behind by 22 in the fourth quarter, but that’s what happened here.
The game didn’t mean anything to Milwaukee, of course, since they have already clinched the top seed in the East. However, the same goes for the Raptors, as they have a four game lead on Boston with just two games left to go. Still, logic tells you that this is a game that may become a five game series in the Eastern Conference Finals, and this is not a great look for Milwaukee, who fall to just 2-4 in the restart bubble.
As mentioned earlier, OUR GUY~! Wesley Matthews started but left rather quickly due to injury. He only contributed one field goal attempt to the stat sheet before departing.
Miami Heat 114, Indiana Pacers 92 — With the #4 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line to a certain extent, Miami shoved the Pacers down into the #5 spot over the length of the second half. The Heat had built a double digit lead in the first quarter before Indiana rallied to take a lead late in the second quarter. It was all Heat all the time in the final 24 minutes, though, as Miami outscored Indiana 37-23 in the third and kept building on their lead all the way to as many as 23 at one point late in the game.
Jimmy Butler made his return to the lineup for the Heat, giving them game highs in points with 19 and in rebounds with 11. In his free time, he distributed five assists, too. Jae Crowder contributed 14 points as all five Heat starters got into double digits. Crowder his four of his six three-point attempts as he continues to be red hot behind the arc, and he chipped in eight rebounds and four assists, too.
Connecticut Sun 93, Atlanta Dream 82 — That’s win #2 for the Sun on the season! Connecticut opened up their lead in the second quarter, turning a one point first quarter margin into a 56-46 gap at the half. If that wasn’t enough, the Sun compiled a 21-7 run early in the third quarter to bring the competitive portion of the day to a close.
Sure, Atlanta cut it to 11 at the final horn. It was also a 17 point game with two minutes to go, so that final isn’t really telling you what happened here.
Alyssa Thomas led the way for Connecticut with 21 points and seven rebounds. Four different Sun players got into double digits and no one played more than 28 minutes with Kaila Charles topping the PT list at 27:32.
Charles actually got the nod in the starting lineup over Natisha Hiedeman, which is a change for head coach Curt Miller. Hiedeman had been starting the last few games for the Sun, and here she came off the bench for nearly 25 minutes of action. She finished with eight points, two rebounds, and an assist while going 2-for-5 from behind the three-point line along the way.
Up Next: Milwaukee gets us back into Marquette Golden Eagles related action first, as they’ll play Washington on Tuesday night at 8pm Central. That’s a League Pass Special, as the Bucks have clinched the conference and Washington has actually lost every single bubble game and is on the verge of falling in the standings behind a second team that was not even included in the bubble.
The Heat and Clippers return to action on Wednesday night. Miami plays Oklahoma City at 7pm Central on League Pass, while LA gets Denver on ESPN at 8pm CT.
Connecticut will face off against Dallas in their next game. The Sun have already beaten the Wings this season, so that’s a chance for a back-to-back wins situation there. That game will be at 6pm Central on Wednesday evening and you can watch it on CBS Sports Network.