If you turned on this bad boy midway through the second quarter and saw the Heat up by 23 and then promptly turned it off and never came back, no one is going to blame you for anything here. That is 100% the most logical thing to do.
HOWEVER, the Bucks responded to the 17 point halftime deficit by ripping off a 20-5 run to start the third quarter. An alley oop from Khris Middleton to Brook Lopez actually gave Milwaukee an 82-81 lead with 5:11 left in the frame, but by the time the quarter came to an end, Miami appeared to have calmed things down and reasserted control with a 98-92 advantage.
It absolutely looked like the Heat were going to continue down that road, building a nine point lead back up on an Andre Iguodala triple with 10:23 to play. That made it a 103-94 margin, and the Bucks clearly appeared to be in trouble. Yeah, that didn’t happen. A layup by Eric Bledsoe nine seconds later kicked off a — and I am not kidding here — 36-8 run by Milwaukee that lasted all the way until there was less than a minute to go. Sterling Brown hit a pull up J with 48 seconds left to cap that explosion and give the Bucks a 130-111 lead. That’s a 19 point margin, and again: They were down 23 in the first half.
The win clinches the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the Bucks, which is great news for them. OUR GUY~! Wesley Matthews made his return to the lineup after missing the Brooklyn game, going for nine points in 22 minutes of action. Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo both went for 33 points to lead the way for Milwaukee, with The Greek Freak adding 12 rebounds and four assists, too.
We’re interested in both sides of this one, as Miami has two former Marquette Golden Eagles on the roster. Jae Crowder went for 15/4/1 in the game and hit four of his six long range attempts. Jimmy Butler did not play again in this game after he sat out Tuesday’s game with a sore ankle. This loss combined with the rest of Thursday’s results leaves the Heat in fourth place in the East and 2.5 games back of Boston with just four games left to go for both sides. The Heat also only have a one game lead on Indiana and a game and a half lead on Philadelphia.
Four of the Sun’s five starters scored in double figures as Connecticut jumped out to an early lead on Dallas and never looked back to get their first win of the 2020 season. That’s good, even if our favorite WNBA team is now only 1-5 on the season with 27% of the schedule completed.
Let’s focus on the good news! Connecticut started out the game with a 13-0 run with our very own Natisha Hiedeman scoring the first bucket of the game as she got the start for the second straight game. That eventually turned into a 23-8 lead at the end of the first quarter as the Sun were able to get to the rim seemingly at will in the early goings. Dallas chipped the lead down into single digits during the second quarter, but a pair of freebies from Hiedeman (!) made it a 12 point game at the half and the Sun opened the third quarter with a strong push to eliminate all thoughts of this one going in a different direction.
The Sun were led by 17 points from Brionna Jones and a double-double on 15 points and 10 rebounds from Alyssa Thomas. Hiedeman had what has to be the best game of her WNBA career, scoring a career high 14 points, grabbing two rebounds, and dishing four assists. She was 5-for-9 from the floor including making two of her four long range attempts.
Los Angeles Clippers 126, Dallas Mavericks 111 — It looks like a lopsided win for Doc Rivers and his guys, but they only got to that 15 point margin at the very end of the game. The first half was a great back and forth contest with both sides building a five point margin twice.
The second half looked to be a different story as the Clips took over to start the third quarter. Landry Shamet gave LA a 10 point lead on a triple with 8:13 to go in the frame, and the lead would get as high as 12 points on a Paul George bucket with about five minutes to go. The Mavs punched their way back in and Trey Burke scored in the closing seconds to make it a 91-87 game with one quarter left to play.
LA reasserted themselves for a moment early in the fourth, but Dallas would eventually knot the game at 101 on a Maxi Kleber three-pointer with 6:41 to go. It would seem like it was anyone’s game at that point, but as you can tell from the final, the Clippers outscored the Mavericks 25-10 the rest of the way, and that was that.
Three Clippers scored 20 points in the game, led by Kawhi Leonard with 29. Ivica Zubac added 21 and Paul Georget chipped in 24. Zubac ended up with a double-double thanks to 15 rebounds, too. Kristaps Porzingis had 30/9/5 in the losing effort, and Luka Doncic went for 29/3/6.
Up Next: We’ve got to do something to get everyone to stop playing on the same day like this. We’ll get the same experience on Saturday. Connecticut goes for their second win of the season on Saturday when they play Chicago. That game is set for a 4pm CT tipoff, but it will be tape delayed to NBA TV at 6pm because..... they have to show Bill Simmons and Kevin McHale talking about Bucks/Celtics from the 1987 Eastern Conference Semifinals at 4. I’m not making that up.
Over at Disney World, the Clippers get the day started at noon CT on TNT against Portland. Miami is in action with a League Pass game at 6:30 CT against Phoenix, while Milwaukee starts playing out the string at 7:30 CT against Dallas on ESPN.