NBA Wrap February 18th
IMAGE: Bleacher Report
CURRY COMES TO THE PARTY LATE AS WARRIORS TOP HEAT IN OVERTIME
One of the rare times this season where one of the greatest three pointers in the game didn’t have the stroke going.
All it needed was the extra frame to imprint his mark.
Despite a 5 for 20 effort from downtown, Steph Curry finished with 25 points and 11 assists as the Golden State Warriors stormed home in Overtime to topple the Miami Heat 120-112.
Kent Bazemore back with the Warriors this season in a second stint led the way with 26 points, while Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr each had 23 for Golden State who have won four of five.
All-Star Bam Adebayo led Miami with 24 points and 7 assists having his way inside with Centres James Wiseman and Kevin Looney still sidelined with injuries, while Draymond Green was a late-scratch with a sore right ankle.
Kendrick Nunn had 19 points as the Heat have dropped its last three to be 1-3 on its seven-game Western trip.
Golden State for the majority of the game would find themselves behind double-digits as the Heat’s three-point shooting behind Tyler a Herro, Duncan Robinson and Nunn hurt the undersized Warriors.
Miami built the contest’s largest lead of 19 late in the first half and early in the fourth held a commanding lead of 15 (96-81) on Adebayo’s dunk with 9:24 left in regulation.
Over a number of years, Golden State has always been able to turn to the man with the quickest release Curry. However in a game where Miami was forcing him to get the ball out of his hands and his shooting deserting him, the role players of Bazemore, Oubre Jr and Wiggins all made timely shots.
With their contributions and Miami’s offence coming to a halt, the Warriors strung a 24-9 run capped off by Bazemore’s driving layup to tie the game at 105 with 52 seconds left.
Miami though would have the chance to win the game on the final possession but Nunn’s jumper did not fall sending the game to another five minutes.
It be time for Chef Curry to take over. Applying his wizardry ball handling skills the 2-time MVP sunk two insanely tough threes – the first after he initially lost the ball before firing over Nunn, and the second three came on a step back also over Nunn to put pen to paper.
MAGICAL LILLARD AND BLAZING BLAZERS EDGE PELICANS LATE
It hardly comes as a surprise with Damian Lillard’s offensive efficiency.
With it an incredible ability to deliver in moments that matter with the game on the line.
Dame Time was on full display as Lillard finished with 43 points and a career-tying high 16 assists including the go-ahead layup as the steamrolling Portland Trailblazers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 126-124.
Gary Trent Jr providing an enormous lift since coming into the starting lineup when CJ McCollum went down with a left foot injury had 23 points for the Blazers now winners of six straight.
Rising superstar Zion Williamson led the Pelicans with a career-tying high 36 points, while Lonzo Ball had 21 points and 5 assists.
Portland defence still having problems slowing down opponents could not contain the Pelicans late in the opening half as New Orleans went on a 20-5 run with Willy Hernangomez playing a major role getting more playing time under Coach Stan Van Gundy.
The Pelicans lead 69-59 at intermission.
The third term went up a notch with both offences clicking which carried over into the fourth with seven lead changes.
Down to the final three minutes of regulation, it be Dame Time to make his mark. The 5-time All-Star launched a triple to put the Blazers ahead by four. After Ball instantly responded with his own three and Williamson made a pair of free throws, Lillard came back with an excellent pass for the cutting Derrick Jones Jr.
Still the Blazers needed one final play of brilliance from its dynamic Point Guard and he did.
In an one-one isolation with Ball, Lillard opted not to use the Robert Covington who came over for the screen, instead driving to his left where he made the layup and in the process took the contact to finish off a three-point play.
The Pelicans would have two cracks at reclaiming the lead, but came up empty with Ball way short on his triple and Brandon Ingram was forced into a tough contested mid-range jump shot by Covington collecting nothing but air.
In other results around the Association:
Washington superstar Bradley Beal scored 25 points and 10 assists, including the game-winning pair of free throws with 0.1 seconds left to give the Wizards a 130-128 victory over the Denver Nuggets.
Denver’s two prime stars Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic combined for 68 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Nuggets who have lost the first two games of a four-game Eastern swing.
Terrence Ross had the stroke going all game finishing with 30 points and the Orlando Magic buckled down defensively in the second half to defeat the New York Knicks 107-89.
Trae Young was on fire scoring 40 points and handing out 8 assists as the Atlanta Hawks continued the Boston Celtics’ recent inconsistencies winning 122-114.
MVP Candidate Joel Embiid returned after missing its loss at Utah with back tightness posting 31 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists for the Philadelphia 76ers who lead by 29 early in the second half before negating a Rockets fourth-quarter surge winning 118-113.
John Wall had 28 points and 7 assists for Houston who have dropped a team season-worst seven straight games.
Domantas Sabonis recorded a career-high 36 points to go with 17 rebounds and 10 assists, while Malcolm Brogdon scored 32 hitting the game-sealing three as the Indiana Pacers beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 134-128 in overtime.
Scoring machine Zach LaVine had 37 points as the Chicago Bulls won despite a tense final seconds eclipsing the Detroit Pistons 105-102.
Jonas Valanciunas posted 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-112.
All-Stars Donovan Mitchell who had 24 points and 7 assists and defensive anchor Rudy Gobert with 23 points and 20 rebounds helped the Utah Jazz steer clear of the short-handed Los Angeles Clippers 114-96.
By Juri Bilcich