The Miami Heat are two wins away from the Eastern Conference Finals and the Houston Rockets survived the Oklahoma City Thunder to advance in NBA playoff games Wednesday in Orlando.
Jimmy Butler lifted the Miami Heat past the Milwaukee Bucks 116-114 in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference semifinals series.
Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton was fouled by Goran Dragic of Miami while attempting a triple with 4.3 seconds remaining and converted all three free throws to tie the score 114 all.
Butler was fouled by Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Bucks as time expired and calmly made two free throws for the win.
Dragic added 23 points while Tyler Herro added 16, Jae Crowder scored 16, Bam Adebayo 15, Butler and Duncan Robinson contributed 13 apiece, and Kelly Olynyk chipped in 11.
The Heat are two wins away from reaching the conference finals which they last reached in 2014 when LeBron James was still playing for them.
Giannis scored 29 points and hauled 14 rebounds for the Bucks who are in danger of being eliminated in the playoffs for the second straight season.
Middleton added 23 points for Milwaukee, Brook Lopez and Eric Bledsoe each had 16, and George Hill chipped in 14.
The Houston Rockets made a key defensive stop in the waning seconds to subdue the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102 in Game 7 of their first round Western Conference series.
Houston’s James Harden, who is primarily known for his offense, blocked a three-pointer by Lu Dort of the Thunder to preserve the victory.
The Rockets advanced to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs.
Harden scored just 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting and had nine assists. However, his teammates made up for his dismal scoring night, with Robert Covington and Eric Gordon chipping in 21 points apiece.
Dort had a career-best 30 points for the Thunder. Chris Paul had 19 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Marcus Morris Sr. and Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic had been fined a pretty penny by NBA for several incidents in Game 6 of their first round Eastern Conference series.
Morris Sr. was fined $35,000 for a reckless blow on Doncic. On the other hand, Doncic was fined $15,000 for throwing a ball into a referee.
The Clippers won the series 4-2 to advance to the semifinal against the Denver Nuggets who survived the Utah Jazz in seven games to qualify to the next round.
Boston Celtics’ Marcus Morris fined $5,000 for violating NBA anti-flopping rules with 2:46 left in the third quarter in their last game against the Toronto Raptors.
The Celtics won 102-99 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven second round Eastern Conference series.
Jordan acquired equity in online betting site
Online betting site DraftKings has announced that Charlotte Hornets owner and NBA legend Michael Jordan has taken an equity stake in the company.
Jordan will also serve as a special advisor to the board, the company added.
He will garner an unspecified stake in the company and in exchange, Jordan will provide “strategic and creative input…on company strategy, product development, inclusion, equity, and belonging” and other initiatives, DraftKings said.
Kai Sotto’s NBA G League team named Ignite
Kai Sotto has been named to the NBA G-League Ignite, an elite group of global prospects coached by five-time NBA champion Brian Shaw and training in suburban San Francisco.
Others in the group are India’s Pincepal Singh, a graduate of the NBA Global Academy in Australia, Filipino-American guard Jalen Green, Congolese forward Jonathan Kuminga, US forward Isaiah Todd, and US guard Daishen Nix.
The international group is part of a one-year program aimed at preparing players for the NBA Draft.
The players receive mentorship and life skills training and pro money while preparing for the NBA.
Villanova’s Williams says no to Sixers coaching post
Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Williams has announced that he is not a candidate for the Philadelphia 76ers head coaching post vacated by Brett Brown after the team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.
“I am not a candidate for the job,” Wright, a Philadelphia native and life-long 76ers fan, said in a statement. “I am very happy and honored to coach at Villanova,” he added.
Wright expressed confidence that the franchise will hire the right coach.
“The 76ers have a great leader in Elton Brand, outstanding young talent, and an incredible opportunity for any coach to compete for a championship. As a lifetime 76ers fan, I have confidence they will bring in the right coach to build on what Brett Brown has developed.” (Compiled by Tristan Lozano)