NBA Wrap February 21st
IMAGE: Lonzo Wire - USA Today
ROZIER’S BUZZER-BEATER GIVES HORNETS THE WIN OVER WARRIORS
Terry Rozier’s shot especially from beyond the arc was hot all game.
Fittingly it would be him to hit the winner.
Rozier scored a game-high 36 points hitting 8 of 11 from behind the arc to lift the Charlotte Hornets over the Golden State Warriors 102-100.
The 6’1 Guard terrific game-winner game on the back of Draymond Green who was given two technical fouls for arguing with the referees over a tied-ball with Gordon Hayward. Green was incensed by the call, immediately getting a technical foul, before continuing to plead his case receiving a second technical seconds later.
The Warriors were without 2-time MVP Steph Curry who was a late scratching after feeling unwell with Mychal Mulder moving into the starting lineup.
Kelly Oubre Jr’s led the Warriors with 25 points, while Andrew Wiggins had 19 who have two games remaining in its three-game Eastern swing against the New York Knicks and Indiana Pacers.
Golden State appeared to break away from Charlotte going up by 10 (89-79) when Green knocked down a triple off a kick out from Eric Paschall with 5:19 left capping off a 20-10 run.
Refusing to buckle, Charlotte stormed right back into the contest behind four successive makes from three point behind Rozier (2 threes), P.J Washington and Gordon Hayward to have the, within two with 1:18 remaining.
Golden State responded right away when Wiggins with the shot-clock winding down made a pass to the right-hand corner to Oubre Jr who swished through his fourth three to give the Warriors a five point cushion with 55 seconds to play.
Rozier though could not be contained as he made an incredibly difficult step back three with Oubre Jr draped all over him to trim the deficit to two.
That would set the scene for Green’s ejection giving Charlotte two free throws which Rozier converted both and the ball back to win the game.
Matched up against Oubre Jr, he went to his left picked up on the switch by Juan Toscano-Anderson where he gave himself an inch of daylight before stepping back to launch the jumper finding the bottom of the net as his teammates swarmed him.
Charlotte got the jump earlier in the contest going up 24-15 at the end of one holding the Warriors to only 2 of 9 from three. Rozier’s 41-foot bank shot dropped in with Golden State taking a 47-45 lead into intermission - with scores at the three locked at 69 apiece.
HEAT SKIM BY LAKERS AS CARUSO MISSES GAME-TYING JUMPER
Miami had done everything right for 47:52 of the contest.
One inbound play almost cost them the victory, thankfully they breathed a sigh of relief.
Alex Caruso missed a game-tying jumper to force Overtime and the Miami Heat held on to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-94 at Staples Centre in the teams first meeting since last season’s NBA Finals.
Kendrick Nunn led the Heat with 27 points, while Jimmy Butler posted 24 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists as Miami improves to 3-3 on its long seven-game Western trip.
Kyle Kuzma starting a third-straight game with Anthony Davis out for the next four weeks had a team-high 23 points, for the Lakers.
LeBron James finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 9 assists but was constantly harassed into taking tough shots with Andre Iguodala and Bam Adebayo having the assignment of containing the 4-time Champion.
The Heat had possession of the ball with 8.4 seconds remaining only needing to find the man and have the Lakers intentionally foul. However, Andre Iguodala threw a wild pass which was cut of by LeBron James where he immediately be double-teamed by Jimmy Butler and Kelly Olynyk before finding a wide-open Caruso with the chance to level the game missed to end a wild sequence.
Miami built the game’s largest margin of 14 when Tyler Herro knocked down a triple to make it 53-39 with 3:59 left in the opening half, until the Lakers went on 13-6 run capped off by Marc Gasol’s three with 0.1 seconds remaining.
The Lakers rode the surge taking its first lead (66-63) since early in the first when Wesley Matthews sunk a three of an excellent LeBron pass.
Then the purple and gold went without a field goal for the next 5:16 as the Heat rattled off 13 consecutive points, but the Lakers were not fazed finishing the third term strong, only to be behind four.
Miami threatened early in the fourth to pull away when Duncan Robinson bothered by foul trouble swished a triple, before Harrell answered right away with a floater.
The next three minutes wouldn’t have a single basket, but the Lakers had one push. Starting with LeBron gliding through the middle of the lane for an uncontested dunk, then Kuzma making an excellent read to the basket where he made the shot plus the foul converting the
three point play.
Their plays helped set up what would be the ideal finish.
In other results around the Association:
Zach LaVine scored 38 points and the Chicago Bulls sent the Sacramento Kings to a sixth straight loss in a 122-114 victory.
Devin Booker scored 24 points as the Phoenix Suns made a franchise-record 24 threes in a 128-97 demolition of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Washington Wizards recent resurgence continues winning a fourth straight game knocking off the Portland Trailblazers 118-111.
Bradley Beal scored 37 points for the Wizards, while Russell Westbrook had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 35 points and 12 assists, with its six-game winning streak broken.
By Juri Bilcich