Monday, February 6, 2017
Paul Pierce played 15 seasons with the Celtics. In those 15 seasons he would make 10 All Star games, he totaled 24,000 points, and he won an NBA Title.
He may have been a visitor in Boston yesterday, but it was like home again one last time. Before the game he would kiss the Celtics logo at half court and with 11 seconds to go he would drain a three. The fans in Boston gave him a huge standing ovation when they introduced him before the game and after the game the fans gave him another standing ovation. During a time out during the first quarter there was a tribute to say thanks to a legend who would wear a Celtics uniform.
Moments like this is what makes sports so great. Yea, the competition is there, but to go out in another team's uniform after playing for one team for 15 years and still get the respect he got was heart felt.
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Kyle Lowry was already ill, then he was injured.
Neither was going to keep him off the floor with the Toronto Raptors badly needing a victory.
Lowry finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth career triple-double, and the Raptors beat the Brooklyn Nets 103-95 on Sunday.
Already feeling sick, Lowry needed four stitches after cutting his right forearm on a camera mounted to the basket stanchion. But he played more than 39 minutes and recorded his first triple-double of the season.
"It's a part of the game. You're going to get injured, you're going to get hurt," Lowry said. "It's just how you find ways to get through it, and I'm always going to find a way to get through it."
Playing again without leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, the slumping Raptors ended a two-game skid and won for just the third time in 11 games. Jonas Valanciunas led them with 22 points.
Terrence Ross had 17 points for the Raptors, who extended their longest winning streak ever against the Nets to eight.
Brook Lopez scored 20 for the Nets, who had 16 turnovers in the first half and finished with 22. They have lost nine in a row overall and 12 straight at home, where they haven't won in 2017.
"I thought in the second half we improved," coach Kenny Atkinson said. "That's why we gave ourselves a chance, because our defense was not great but decent enough to have a chance to win the game."
Brooklyn cut a 17-point deficit to four midway through the fourth quarter but Lowry soon took over, throwing a lob to Valanciunas for a basket, making a pair of free throws and then finding DeMarre Carroll for a basket that pushed the lead back into double digits at 92-82.
DeRozan has missed seven of the last eight games because of right ankle injuries during a frustrating time for the Raptors, who snapped a five-game road losing streak.
"Good teams, bad teams, whatever it is, frustration's a part that you've got to fight through as a team," coach Dwane Casey said.
Raptors: Lowry finished 0 for 5 from 3-point range and remained with 799 3-pointers with the Raptors, two behind Morris Peterson's franchise record. ... Patrick Patterson also sat out after leaving Toronto's loss in Orlando on Friday with a bruised left knee. He has missed 11 of the last 20 games with knee injuries.
Nets: Lopez entered averaging 21.7 points against the Raptors, second-highest among Nets players with at least 10 appearances. Former Toronto star Vince Carter averaged 23.3 in 18 appearances after being traded to the Nets. ... Rookie Caris LeVert sat out to rest his sore knee.
The Raptors' struggles cost Casey a chance to coach the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game. The coach whose team had the second-highest winning percentage through Sunday's games - Cleveland's Tyronn Lue is ineligible after coaching last year - earned the spot, and Boston's Brad Stevens clinched it Friday. Casey said he was disappointed, but only because that meant the Raptors weren't playing well.
"I'd much rather for us to be playing well right now more so than coaching in the All-Star Game," Casey said. "If we were in third playing well I'd be happy, but I'm more upset about not playing well and everybody not being healthy than coaching in the All-Star Game."
O NO CANADA
Raptors players and coaches looked around in confusion during the singing of Canada's national anthem, as Broadway performer Amber Iman included some lyrics that aren't in "O Canada."
"I'm going to leave that alone, but yeah, that anthem was a lot different than I've heard over the last five years. A lot different," Lowry said. "Her voice was beautiful but the anthem, the song, the words ... have her come to Toronto, we'll come and get somebody to give her some lessons."
Raptors: Host the Clippers on Monday. Los Angeles won the first meeting this season after the Raptors won the previous four.
Nets: Travel on Tuesday to Charlotte, where they have lost three in a row.
Stephen Curry just plain missed when it mattered most and said so afterward. Steve Kerr insists he got what he deserved being ejected for going absolutely crazy at the refs and losing his cool. The Golden State Warriors showed some flaws and played one of their worst games yet.
Draymond Green failed to knock down a 3-pointer from the top of the arc at the final buzzer and DeMarcus Cousins scored six of his 32 points in overtime and overcame several key mistakes as the Sacramento Kings snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Warriors with a wild 109-106 win Saturday night.
"We got what we deserved - before I was tossed and after," Kerr said. "It was one of the worst games we played all season. We had no purpose. The ball didn't move. I didn't even recognize our team out there tonight. Maybe we were due for one."
Curry's layup attempt with 4.9 seconds left clanked off the rim and the two-time reigning NBA MVP also missed a short jumper with 6.9 seconds left, but finished with 35.
Cousins was unable to corral the rebound on the first miss and the ball went out of bounds at the baseline to the Warriors for one more try with 6.2 ticks remaining.
"I just missed it," Curry said. "Tough way to end the game with a shot at point-blank range to erase all the mishaps earlier."
Darren Collison scored 18 points and the bench added 45 for Sacramento, which lost 117-106 to Golden State at the Golden 1 Center last month as the Warriors rallied in the second half.
Kerr was tossed with 3:34 left in the third and had to be held back near midcourt by assistant coach Mike Brown as the reigning NBA Coach of the Year moved toward official Bill Spooner. Kerr, irate and swearing after a pair of loose ball fouls on Kevon Looney 18 seconds apart, pointed and gestured while repeating profanities.
"I got what I deserved. I deserved to be ejected - so I was. I have no complaints," Kerr said. "I was angry."
After four straight Kings free throws - one for a technical on Green - Kerr erupted. Curry and Klay Thompson hit consecutive 3s, but that momentum was short-lived.
Golden State dropped to 0-3 in OT this season.
A night after recording his sixth career triple-double, Cousins had 12 rebounds and nine assists to just miss another. This win could provide some much-needed momentum for Sacramento, in a stretch with 11 of 13 home games.
With Sacramento ahead 96-95 in regulation, Cousins also became furious with Spooner and received a technical with 2:08 to play for yelling and gesturing in frustration. Curry hit the tying free throw to tie it at 96.
"There are no excuses. It's something we've been preaching for a long time," Cousins said. "I'm so proud of my team. We came out and got a big win. We competed from start to finish."
Green walked off on his own after missing a driving layin at Cousins 1:17 before halftime and going down hard by a cameraman. He grabbed his right knee, an X-ray was negative and he was back on the court by the 10:09 mark of the third.
Sacramento guard Arron Afflalo was back after missing Friday night's 105-103 home loss with a stomach virus.
Green returned from a one-game absence with a bruised left shoulder and Shaun Livingston also was back after being sidelined the past two games with a strained mid-back.
DURANT'S OFF NIGHT
Typically the epitome of efficiency, Kevin Durant wasn't his usual steady self.
KD was held without a field goal until his dunk 3:19 before halftime and wound up with 10 points in a rare off shooting night. He was 2 for 10 from the field and missed all six of his 3-point tries, but had nine rebounds and five blocks.
Warriors: F David West, out since sustaining a non-displaced fracture of his left thumb Jan. 18 against Oklahoma City, continues to make progress and could return as soon as Wednesday given the team has a couple of days to practice and work him back into the mix.
Kings: F Omri Casspi, out the last 10 games with a strained right calf, will not return until after the All-Star break. "We're going to be a little conservative with it," coach Dave Joerger said.
Warriors: Golden State has a rare and helpful three-break between games before hosting Chicago on Wednesday.
Kings: Host the Bulls on Monday looking to snap a four-game skid in the series and get their first home win against Chicago since Nov. 20, 2014.
Quin Snyder was not thrilled with the urgency of his team.
The Utah Jazz gave up 38 points in the third quarter before deciding to pick up the defense and execute a ferocious comeback.
Gordon Hayward scored 33 points and the Jazz rallied to defeat the Charlotte Hornets 105-98 on Saturday night.
"There's an urgency we had when we got behind," Snyder said. "We get to a point where we're not playing well for a while and then it kicks in and the level raises. We have to do a better job of maintaining that, or reaching that or at least approaching that during the guts of the game. Not just at the end of the game.
"You can look at it one way and say we gave up 38 in the third quarter or say we gave up 16 in the fourth. The fact that there's such a disparity, to me, points to just focus and mental concentration."
The Jazz erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit with big contributions from Hayward, George Hill and Joe Johnson. A 21-4 run was capped by Johnson's 3-pointer from the corner that gave the Jazz a 103-96 lead with 59 seconds remaining. Hayward put on a show with a variety of step-backs and pull-ups and Johnson was a playmaker down the stretch. Hill finished with 25, including five 3-pointers.
"(Hill and Johnson) just makes it easier on me," Hayward said. "Defense can't just focus in and they were both terrific tonight. Joe, specifically, the past two games has been a playmaker for us.
"George was almost as efficient as can be. It seemed like every one was a dagger for us."
The Hornets put on a shooting clinic from behind the arc in the third quarter, but went cold in the fourth and scored just 16 points.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 18 points, and Marvin Williams added 16 points and 12 rebounds. Frank Kaminsky finished with 15 points.
The Jazz went into halftime with a 52-44 lead after trailing by double-digits in the first quarter. Dante Exum scored nine points during a 15-0 run that gave the Jazz their first lead of the game at 31-28. They closed the half with a 9-2 run highlighted by Hayward's alley-oop from Exum.
"I think we're sixth in fourth-quarter offense in the league, but we're 19th or 20th in fourth-quarter defense," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "Our first few years we were top five.
"Our fourth-quarter defense has been our biggest problem."
Hornets: Walker is dealing with an illness and did not practice Wednesday, but played. ... Charlotte was outrebounded 51-38.
Jazz: Joe Ingles and Boris Diaw started. It was the first time they started with alongside Hayward, George Hill and Rudy Gobert this season. ... Rodney Hood missed his third straight game with a right knee bone contusion and LCL sprain. He will be re-evaluated next week.
Jazz forward Derrick Favors was back on the court after missing the last two games to rest. He's been dealing with a left knee injury since December.
"I think he's found a rhythm at various times," Snyder said. "Sometimes the wear and tear of the season is just something you have to manage.
"Sometimes it's just a question of getting re-focused and taking a couple days and you're good to go."
Miles Plumlee played his first game with the Hornets after being traded from the Bucks for Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert on Thursday despite not having practiced with the team yet. Clifford hopes he can fill a similar role that the injured Cody Zeller (quad contusion) held.
"I'm hoping that he can play similar to how he did in Phoenix that year, he was really good," Clifford said. "Basket protection. He's very good laterally. He brings versatility to what you can do in your pick-and-roll defense. He's got a good idea of how to use the verticality rules, but he's also quick enough to get out and be more aggressive on the ball."
"I don't know, but we have to figure it out," Hornets forward Nicolas Batum said about the fourth quarter. "We have to stop that because we do a great job for three quarters and then we have to figure it out."
Hornets: hosts a Brooklyn Nets team that has lost eight straight on Tuesday.
Jazz: travels to face the Atlanta Hawks and the red-hot Tim Hardaway Jr. on Monday.
Manu Ginobili knew how important Gregg Popovich is to the San Antonio Spurs even before the coach set the NBA record for most wins with a single franchise.
Popovich earned his 1,128th victory Saturday night, leading the Spurs to a 121-97 victory over the Denver Nuggets. He passed former Utah coach Jerry Sloan for the mark.
"The record is just a number," Ginobili said. "He didn't need that record to define what he means for this franchise, the NBA, in the last 20 years. The fact that he's been the coach of the team for so many years is already an impressive accomplishment.
"If you add five rings and this type of record, having 70 percent or more winning percentage, it's incredible what he's done. He's going to keep doing it. I'm pretty sure he's going to get some more."
Denver coach Mike Malone also had high praise for Popovich.
"It speaks to the fact that he's arguably the greatest coach the NBA has ever seen," Malone said. "It speaks to the commitment that they have made to him here in San Antonio, the longevity. Pop is a tremendous coach and the greatest accomplishment is not just the success, but also the sustained success they've had over and over again."
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 19 points in San Antonio's final home game before playing eight games on the road during its annual rodeo road trip. Ginobili and Tony Parker each added 18 points for the Spurs.
"It's important to win that one," Parker said. "We were serious tonight. The energy was good and now we have to maintain it on the road."
Jamal Murray scored 20 points off the bench and Nikola Jokic had 11 in 15 minutes for Denver, which was playing the second game of a back-to-back and fourth in five nights. The arduous schedule seemed to catch up with the Nuggets in the second half. San Antonio opened the third quarter on a 21-7 run.
Ginobili and Parker have been part of 639 of Popovich's wins, and the veterans turned back the clock in the record-setting win. The 39-year-old Ginobili set a season high for points despite sitting out the entire second half, going 4 for 5 on 3-pointers. The only player older than Ginobili to score 18-plus points for the Spurs was Tim Duncan, the final member of the team's vaunted Big Three, who had 21 points against Denver on April 8, 2016.
"Manu was on fire.," Parker said. "Look like the old days, shooting the ball like that. He played with a lot of confidence, it was great to see."
Parker finished 8 for 8 from the field after scoring just one point in the team's previous game. The 16-year veteran had four straight points midway through the first quarter, including a layup ahead of Jokic after a steal against Jameer Nelson.
Ginobili topped that with 10 points in four minutes and 16 of the team's 18 points in his initial seven minutes.
Nuggets: F Danilo Gallinari missed his second straight game with a strained left groin. Gallinari is averaging 17.2 points and 34.2 minutes, both team-highs. ... Kenneth Faried had four points and four rebounds, ending his streak of four straight double-doubles. ... Jokic, Faried, Nelson, Wilson Chandler and Gary Harris started for the second time as a unit. They won their initial outing together. ... F Darrell Arthur sat the game out for rest. Arthur missed four straight games with soreness in his lower left leg from Jan. 12-20. ... Denver entered the game third in the league in scoring at 110.4 points per game. ... The Nuggets have lost nine straight in San Antonio. Their last win here was March 4, 2012, in a 99-94 decision.
Spurs: Leonard has scored in double figures in 80 straight games. His previous longest streak was 46 in 2015. . San Antonio has scored 100-plus points in 27 consecutive games, its longest streak since 29 straight in 1988. ... The Spurs finished 3-1 on their four-game homestand. ... San Antonio has 37 alley-oop dunks in 50 games this season after recording 18 all of last season. ... Ginobili's initial 3-pointer against the Nuggets was the 1,400th of his career. His previous season high was 17 points on Dec. 18 against New Orleans.
Nuggets: Host Dallas on Monday night.
Spurs: At Memphis on Monday night.
Milwaukee couldn't stop Devin Booker for seven spectacular minutes. The Phoenix Suns couldn't stop the Bucks all night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points to lead six Milwaukee players in double figures and the Bucks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 137-112 victory over the Suns on Saturday, their highest-scoring game of the season.
"I thought Giannis set the tone for us," Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd said. "That's why he's an All-Star. He understands the moment. He set the tone early and everybody has to follow."
Booker, whose 20-foot bank shot at the buzzer beat the Kings in Sacramento on Friday night, scored 31 points for the Suns, 27 during a blistering final 7:13 of the first half.
The Bucks, coming off a Friday night loss at Denver, shredded the Suns' defense, shooting 63 percent while setting season highs for most points in a quarter, half and game. Milwaukee scored 74 points in the paint to the Suns' 42.
"This is what we do. We score in the paint," Antetokounmpo said. "We try to go to our strength as much as possible. It feels good going to your strength."
Ex-Sun Mirza Teletovic added 19 points and Jabari Parker had 18 for the Bucks in just their second win in the last 12 games. The victory came in the final stop on a five-game road trip.
"We were just hungry to get a win," Antetokounmpo said. "We were struggling."
Rookie Marquese Chriss scored a career-high 27 points for Phoenix.
Booker scored 27 of the Suns' final 33 points in the first half, including his team's last 17 to cut what had been a 25-point Milwaukee lead to 74-66 at the break.
But the heroics ended there. Booker didn't make another field goal, going 0 for 6 in the second half.
The Bucks methodically padded their lead in the third quarter, going up 92-76 on Parker's breakaway dunk with 4:35 left.
Chriss' three-point play sliced the lead to 104-92 with 10:59 to play, but Milwaukee ran off the next eight points to blow open a 112-92 advantage.
Booker, a 20-year-old second-year guard, was 9-of-11 shooting in the second quarter, including 5 of 5 on 3s.
"It's just that zone," Booker said. "If you play basketball long enough, a lot of people get in that zone. It would have been better if it had lasted longer, the whole game, we could have come out with a win, but we didn't."
Suns coach Earl Watson called Booker "a player who, during that stretch, reminded me of Kobe."
Other than that second-quarter outburst, though, Booker was 0-for-8 shooting.
Booker's barrage was one point shy of the franchise-record 28 he scored in the fourth quarter of a loss to Dallas in Mexico City.
Along the way, he became the youngest player to score at least 20 points in 16 consecutive games. Booker did it at 20 years, 97 days. His 16-game streak is the second-longest by any first- or second-year player in the last 20 seasons. Vince Carter had a 23-game run in 1999-2000.
Bucks: Milwaukee snapped a seven-game road losing streak. ... The Bucks shot 77 percent (17 for 22) in the first quarter. ... Milwaukee has won four of its last five in Phoenix and three straight overall against the Suns.
Suns: The 137 points were one shy of the most allowed in a game by Phoenix this season. ... Before Booker's 28- and 27-point quarters this season, the Phoenix franchise record for points in a quarter was 26 by Stephon Marbury. ... The Suns' franchise record for consecutive 20-point games is 21 by Tom Chambers.
Bucks: Milwaukee returns home to face Miami on Wednesday night.
Suns: Phoenix is at New Orleans on Monday night.
The excuses were right there for the Memphis Grizzlies. End of a 10-day trip, second night of back-to-back, three key players getting the night off.
They were having none of it, the latest chapter of toughness in a franchise history rich with it.
JaMychal Green scored a career-high 29 points and the short-handed Grizzlies grinded out a 107-99 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night.
Mike Conley added 20 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies, who rested Marc Gasol, Tony Allen and Chandler Parsons on the second night of a back-to-back. The Grizzlies scored 21 points off of 13 turnovers by Minnesota and only turned it over 10 times.
"We all had kind of excuses to make up to lose a game, but guys didn't use that," Conley said. "We said, `We're playing for something.'"
Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who have lost three straight after showing some signs of life. The Wolves led by 18 points in the first half, but were outworked the rest of the way on a day they lost Zach LaVine for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
"We got too comfortable with the lead," Towns said. "We felt like we were just cruising to the victory line and we stumbled along the way."
The Grizzlies may have been resting three key players, but they still had Conley. The clutch point guard directed traffic, got his lesser-celebrated teammates involved early and then made his move late. His three-point play with 4:23 to go put Memphis up 88-82. And Green gobbled up two misses down the stretch for putbacks to power Memphis to the win.
The Wolves started the day with some devastating news when LaVine's MRI revealed a torn ACL. A sullen locker room pregame showed the concern for a very popular teammate, but Minnesota built an 18-point lead early in the second quarter on the strength of superior ball movement.
The flow ground to a halt for much of the next two quarters, and Vince Carter hit back-to-back 3-pointers for an 11-point lead midway through the third.
Andrew Wiggins scored 23 points, but shot just 9 of 22 for Minnesota.
"It was a tough day. But we still have to be ready to play," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We all felt the disappointment in (LaVine's injury), but no one is going to feel sorry for us. We have to be ready to roll."
Grizzlies: Zach Randolph had nine points and 10 rebounds in 30 minutes, but fouled out midway through the fourth. ... Green hit all 12 of his free throws and Memphis shot 39 in the game.
Timberwolves: PG Kris Dunn did not play for the second straight game because of an injured right hand, but the Timberwolves said he was available to play if he was needed. ... Seldom-used PF Adreian Payne was out for the second straight game because of an illness. ... Gorgui Dieng had 13 rebounds.
It was the second time this season Memphis has rested key players on a trip to Minnesota. Gasol and Conley did not play in November and the Grizzlies lost by 36.
Memphis coach David Fizdale was asked about fans that pay to see the best players, only to be disappointed.
"That's above my pay grade there," Fizdale said. "That's something the NBA is going to have to deal with and face and figure out. Whether it's shortening the schedule or something like that. That's way out of my realm. I'm just more about what helps our team and what wins games for us and what gives us the best chance to play longer. That's what a lot of teams are doing right now."
Green's previous career high of 21 came against New Orleans and former No. 1 pick Anthony Davis. On Saturday night, he battled Towns, the No. 1 overall pick two years ago.
"I live for them," Green said of those matchups. "I always want to guard the best player. Tonight I had the opportunity to make him guard me."
Grizzlies: heads home to host San Antonio on Monday.
Timberwolves: plays the second of a six-game homestand on Monday against Miami, which has won 10 straight games.
Kevin Love doesn't appear bothered by back spasms or trade rumors.
And the way the All-Star forward played Saturday, the Cavaliers seem to have no reason to swap him for Carmelo Anthony or anyone else.
LeBron James had 32 points and 10 assists, Love added 23 points and 16 rebounds in his return, and Cleveland beat the New York Knicks 111-104.
The Cavaliers won for the ninth straight time against the Knicks and didn't even need Kyrie Irving, who didn't play because of right quadriceps soreness.
Love was back after missing two games and not only made four 3-pointers, but threw down a powerful dunk that had James and teammates on the bench spilling out the court in excitement.
"Overall, I felt pretty good," Love said. "The thought is on this road trip we'll be able to get it back to 100 percent."
The Cavs, who won the first two meetings by an average of 30.5 points, led this one by 27 in the first of four straight on the road.
Brandon Jennings had 23 points and 10 assists in place of point guard Derrick Rose, who missed his fourth straight game with a sprained left ankle. Anthony and Courtney Lee each added 17 points.
"When we tried to make our run, it was a little too late," Jennings said.
The Knicks have contacted the Cavs about trading Anthony for Love, according to reports, but Love looked the better player Saturday and seemed healthy while playing 35 minutes.
He said being pain-free allowed him to ignore the speculation or being on the same floor as Anthony.
"Maybe the silver lining was getting through the back injury, just going out there playing," Love said. "Had I not done that, I don't know if it would have been different or not."
James became the youngest player to surpass 28,000 points in leading the Cavs to their seventh straight win at Madison Square Garden. And he led the defensive effort against Anthony, who shot just 6 for 20 from the field.
One of those makes was when he stole the ball from James and dunked to cut it to 106-101 with 59 seconds left. But James came down on the next possession and found Love in the corner for an open 3-pointer, then drove around and through the Knicks defense for a dunk that pushed the lead back to double digits.
"They made a run, but we were still handling the game and we were still taking control of the game, but we just had to make a couple plays down the stretch and I was able to do that and Kev was able to do that as well," James said.
Cavaliers: Coach Tyronn Lue said he didn't know how long Irving would be out, or whether the Cavs would be pressed into signing another point guard. ... Cleveland improved to 13-0 against the Atlantic Division.
Knicks: Starting center Joakim Noah played just six minutes because of a sore left hamstring. ... Rookie Willy Hernangomez had 16 points and is averaging 15.7 points and 11.7 rebounds in his last three games.
Lue said he was picking the Patriots to win Sunday's Super Bowl because of his respect for Bill Belichick. Lue said he became a fan when he was a Celtics assistant under Doc Rivers, when the coaching staffs visited each other.
"I like what he does, I like what he brings, I like who he is as a coach," Lue said.
TRIPLE, MAKE THAT, DOUBLE-DOUBLE
Saturday was the eighth anniversary of James' triple-double that wasn't. He was credited with 52 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in the Cavs' 107-102 victory here on Feb. 4, 2009, making him the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1975 with 50 points in a triple-double. But the NBA removed the final rebound shortly after following a review of the video.
"We got a win. That's the only thing that kind of mattered to me," James said when asked to recall that.
The Knicks honored their 1988-89 Atlantic Division championship team with appearances by Mark Jackson, Rod Strickland, Gerald Wilkins, Trent Tucker and Johnny Newman, the "Bomb Squad" who helped the team set a then-NBA record with 386 3-pointers.
Cavaliers: On Monday visit the Washington Wizards, who have won 17 straight home games.
Knicks: Host the Lakers on Monday, looking to extend a five-game winning streak in the series.
Hassan Whiteside made everything look easy.
That's the Miami Heat way right now.
Whiteside scored 30 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in just 27 minutes, Dion Waiters scored 21 points on 10 shots and the Heat pushed their winning streak to 10 games with a 125-102 romp past the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
Miami led by as many as 34, and shot a season-best 59 percent.
"We're not thinking about the win streak," Whiteside said. "We're a whole different team than we were a month ago. Guys are healthy. Guys are playing together. We're a whole different team."
Goran Dragic had 16 points and eight assists for Miami, and Tyler Johnson also scored 16. The 10-game streak is the longest current one in the NBA, and ties Houston for the second-longest in the league this season. Golden State won 12 straight in November.
"It took us a while, with all the moving parts, to really understand what our identity is and what's important for us to be able to win basketball games," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're getting better with it."
Whiteside had a double-double before the game was even 10 minutes old, and shot 14 for 17 from the field. The 30-20 game was the first of his career, and the ninth in Heat history including playoffs. It's only the second in the NBA this season, with Sacramento's DeMarcus Cousins having the other back in November.
"We couldn't guard him," 76ers coach Brett Brown said of Whiteside.
Ersan Ilyasova scored 21 for Philadelphia, which was without Joel Embiid, Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington. Embiid missed his fifth straight game with a left knee problem, and Okafor sat with right knee soreness. Covington has a right hand contusion.
The 76ers were outrebounded 49-33.
"I thought we gave up too much everywhere," Philadelphia guard T.J. McConnell said. "You have to give them credit, though. They came out firing. We couldn't recover. We fought back and there wasn't enough. They punched us in the mouth again."
Without Embiid and Okafor, the 76ers went with Nerlens Noel starting off trying to guard Whiteside.
It didn't work.
Whiteside made his last eight shots of the first half, had 17 points and 11 rebounds before the first quarter was over, and the Heat were off and running. Miami led by as many as 18 early, took a 12-point lead into the half and then were up 100-75 going into the fourth.
76ers: Philadelphia used its 20th different starting lineup. Noel started for the fourth time this season. ... Covington (right hand contusion) was listed as questionable a few hours before the game, and Okafor was listed as probable not long before tip-off. ... Embiid is not expected to be with the 76ers when they visit Detroit on Monday.
Heat: It was Miami's highest-scoring non-overtime game this season. ... Okaro White started the second half for Rodney McGruder, who got sick. White's 10-day contract is expiring, and the Heat will likely make a roster move Sunday to sign him for the rest of the season. "He's a Miami Heat guy," Spoelstra said. ... On "Kids Day" in the arena, James Johnson brought his young son onto the court and held him during the playing of the national anthem.
Waiters' hot streak continued. He was 7 for 10 from the field and 5 for 6 from 3-point range (missing his last). As if that wasn't enough, Syracuse rallied to beat Virginia at the Carrier Dome earlier in the day - but he wasn't watching. "I was sleeping," he said.
PHILLY VS. WHITESIDE
The 76ers haven't exactly had an answer for Whiteside in 2016-17. He's got 62 points and 33 rebounds in two games against Philadelphia this season, on 75 percent shooting - 27 for 36.
76ers: Visit Detroit on Monday, ending a four-game trip.
Heat: Visit Minnesota on Monday, starting a four-game trip.
Everything is going right for the Washington Wizards these days.
John Wall had 24 points and 13 assists, Markieff Morris scored 18 points and the Wizards held New Orleans scoreless for the final 5:52 of the fourth quarter in a 105-91 win Saturday night.
Washington has won seven straight games for its longest winning streak since a seven-game stretch Jan. 2-15, 2005.
The Wizards limited the Pelicans to eight points in the fourth quarter on 3-for-21 shooting.
"I would like to think it was good defense. It was some of us, and they were missing shots," Washington coach Scott Brooks said. "Anytime you hold an NBA team to eight points, you're doing something good."
The Wizards also extended their home winning streak to 17 games, second-longest in franchise history.
Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which lost its fourth straight. Davis, who was getting treatment on his right thigh after the game was held scoreless in the last quarter.
The Pelicans didn't score after Tyreke Evans hit a 3-pointer to take a 91-90 lead with 5:52 to play.
Morris' dunk 12 seconds later put the Wizards ahead and started a game-closing 15-0 run.
"You don't score the last five-six minutes of the game, there's a good probability you're going to lose the game," New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said.
The Wizards (30-20) moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2014-15 season.
Pelicans: G Buddy Hield, held scoreless on Sunday in the team's last meeting, shot 3 for 10 and had six points. Gentry isn't worried about Hield, who was a highly heralded player in college a year ago. Hield was recently moved into the starting lineup. "I think he's making progress. I think he's going to be a really good player in this league," Gentry said.
Wizards: F Danuel House, who has played in just one game this season, is nearing a return from his fractured right wrist. "You'll probably see him in the next 10 days or so. Maybe he plays in the D-League," Brooks said. ... Wall moved into 10th place on the team's all-time scoring list. ... C Marcin Gortat had 17 rebounds - 10 in the first quarter. ... Washington has won 22 games at home this season - equaling its 2015-16 home win total.
CLEVELAND COMING: Wall was asked if Monday's game against the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers was the biggest of his NBA career.
"It probably is. I've been in some big games before, but I don't think one bigger this year. They've been playing OK, but they're the defending champs. We know what team we have to chase in the East," Wall said.
Morris said that he was looking forward to it, too. "What's better than beating the best team in the East - or the second-best?"
NO HOLIDAY FOR JRUE: Pelicans G Jrue Holiday looked like he had a good chance for his third career triple-double after three quarters when he had 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
In the fourth quarter, Holiday missed all five shots, and had just one rebound and assist. He finished with a season-highs in rebounds (10) and turnovers (6).
New Orleans lost all three road games it played this week in Detroit, Toronto and Washington.
"It was a tough road trip. A tough one," Holiday said.
Pelicans: Host Phoenix on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Cleveland on Monday night.