the Heat mutes the Jazz, the Wizards silent leaders in the East
Not demobilized, after three consecutive defeats including two close in Los Angeles against the Lakers and the Clippers, Miami returned to victory in Utah (111-105) on Saturday in the NBA, where Washington, winner in Orlando (104-92), remains leader in the East.
Still deprived of Jimmy Butler, who heals a sprained ankle, the Heat was a little scared at the end of the match, after seeing their lead of 25 points at the start of the fourth quarter melt to 4 units, 14 seconds from the end.
A release finally inconsequential, thanks to two final free throws of Tyler Herro, sixth man reclassified for the occasion in the five major and who finished top scorer of the meeting (27 pts, 8 rebounds), well helped by Duncan Robinson (22 pts) and Kyle Lowry (21 pts).
« We were physically and mentally ready for this match« , said the latter. »After three setbacks, two of which we could avoid, we knew we just had to keep building and today we put together a good building block« .
Utah side, Bojan Bogdanovic, author of 19 of his 26 points in the last quarter, sounded the charge, before Jordan Clarkson (25 pts) and Donovan Mitchell (22 pts) do not follow suit. But too late.
Two days after his big clash with Myles Turner (Indiana), which earned him a large fine, Rudy Gobert made his match (14 pts, 13 rebounds, 3 interceptions) and still had a hitch, much smaller nevertheless, with Dewayne Dedmon.
After this second consecutive loss on his floor, Utah (8-5) finds himself 6th in the West, behind the Clippers, who garnered a 7th victory in a row against Minnesota (129-102) and have the same record as Denver and Dallas (8-4).
Miami for its part goes back to 5th place in the East, ahead of Philadelphia (6th), beaten for the 4th time in a row to Indian (118-113) still in the absence of Joel Embiid (Covid-19), and behind Cleveland (4th) who overthrew Boston (91-89), after having been twelve points behind at the start of the last twelve minutes.
Two free throws from the leader Darius Garland, also best scorer (22 pts, 6 assists), rewarded the abnegation of reborn Cavaliers, in the wake of the rookie Evan Mobley (19 pts, 9 rebounds, 3 counters) drafted in 3rd position this summer, and from the conductor Ricky Rubio (16 pts, 7 assists). The alley-oop offered by the latter to Jarrett Allen allowed theirs to take a valuable advantage (89-87) with 35 seconds remaining.
Prolific (38 pts) and decisive the day before to beat Milwaukee after extra time, Dennis Shroder scored 28 this time but missed the equalizer ball, a mission usually reserved for Jayson Tatum (21 pts).
And quietly, Washington consolidated its first place in the Eastern Conference, winning without trembling in Orlando, although deprived of its best element. Bradley Beal (family mourning).
A fourth consecutive victory (9-4) notably ensured by Spencer Dinwiddie, who took over in scoring (23 pts, 11 rebounds, 6 assists), solidly supported by Show Harrell (20 pts, 7 assists, 6 rebounds), to allow the Wizards to have 23 lengths in advance after three quarters. Well managed in the end.