Blog

Duke beats Texas Tech 78-73 sending Coach K to Elite 8

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is just one win short of a record-breaking 13th appearance in the Final Four in his final season on the bench (Author: Gardener)

DukeNCAA Texas Tech Duke Basketball Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski gestures to players during the second half of his team's college basketball game against Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022. NCAA Texas Tech Duke Basketball Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski gestures during the second half of his team's college basketball game against Texas Tech in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA tournament in San Francisco, Thursday, March 24, 2022. SAN FRANCISCO - (AP) -- Mike Krzyzewski has spent more than four decades at Duke telling his players what to do, with championship-level results. With his Hall of Famer career threatening to come to an end, Krzyzewski let his players dictate the game-ending defensive strategy, switching from an uncharacteristic zone defense to Duke's famous man-to-man. Key defensive stops and two late baskets from Jeremy Roach propelled Krzyzewski to a record-breaking 13th Final Four win of his bye season with a 78-73 win over Texas Tech on Thursday night. Krzyzewski said the players came up to him during a late timeout like a "Catholic boys' choir" and collectively asked for the man substitution that resulted in three straight stoppages and turned the game in Duke's favor. "With this team they are so young and still growing," said Krzyzewski. When they said that, I felt like they would own it. Roach did the rest with two jumpers during a 7-0 run as the perennial runner-up came through in the clutch for a second game in a row to put second-place Duke (31-6) in an elite eight matchup against fourth-place Arkansas to send. Paolo Banchero led Duke with 22 points, Mark Williams had 16 and Roach added 15 as the Blue Devils made their final eight shots from the field to hold off third-place Texas Tech (27-10) and Coach K's record 100 .NCAA tournament bring victory. "I would say throughout the year we have always improved in the biggest moments and there is no greater moment than this," said Banchero. "I don't know about these guys, but I've never played in a basketball game like this." As compelling as the on-court action was in this thrilling West Region semifinals, the history of this Blue Devils run has their Hall of Famer's farewell tour -Trainers surrounded. Krzyzewski announced last June that he would be retiring after this season. After missing last year's tournament, Duke was back with a roster full of NBA prospects and poised to give Krzyzewski his sixth title. Duke played from behind for most of the first half but was much sharper offensively in the second half. Williams got free for three easy baskets early in the half to get the Blue Devils rolling. Then the vociferous Duke contingent, available for the first NCAA tournament games in San Francisco since 1939, made their presence known mid-half when AJ Griffin leveled the game with his third 3-pointer at 47 and Banchero with a knight followed, the Duke brought the victory the lead. But a Red Raiders team with four super seniors and five players with 120+ career games didn't walk away and the game stayed tight as Duke used the zone to negate Texas Tech's strength advantage. "They have a Hall of Fame coach in Coach K over there and he was trying to find a way to slow us down because we were scoring," guard Adonis Arms said. Kevin McCullar and Banchero traded 3s with Banchero's long-range shot to put Duke up 69-68 with less than three minutes to play. At this point Duke switched back to man defense. Roach made two jumps and the defense did the rest, with Krzyzewski even throwing in a patented Duke floor slap for good measure. Why not?" said Krzyzewski. Griffin's two free throws with 12.9 seconds left gave Duke a 77-73 lead. Arms then missed a 3-pointer and Krzyzewski delivered an emphatic punch to celebrate his 17th trip to the Elite Eight .Bryson Williams scored 21 points to lead Texas Tech and McCullar added 17. Kevin Obanor had 10 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double in six tournament games of his career.Texas Tech: Coach Mark Adams' first season was one notable as he made four senior transfers after taking on a thinned-out roster after Chris Beard left for Texas.The Red Raiders have made it to their third Sweet 16 in the last four tournaments."I thought it was a incredible year," Adams said. "It's just a team that has just reached all sorts of heights that no one ever thought possible." Duke: The Blue Devils have shouldered a great responsibility looming as they attempted to cap Krzyzewski's final season with a championship. The youngsters showed nervousness early on, missing four of five shots and losing three possessions, leading to a quick time-out from Krzyzewski. They quickly calmed things down and got right back into the game but struggled to generate a consistent offense until the second half. There was a light-hearted moment in the first half when Roach came up with a loose ball and tried to put it on the pitch in turns. Roach stepped to the sidelines and then ran into an official before falling right next to Duke's bench. The official ruled that the ball should go back to Texas Tech, but Krzyzewski jokingly signaled to block the referee instead. Duke plays Arkansas for a place in the Final Four on Saturday. The only previous tournament meeting between the schools came in the 1994 title game, which Arkansas won 76-72.

Read

Five observations from the first half of Duke men's basketball versus Texas Tech

It was an intense first 20 minutes here at the Chase Center, with No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Texas Tech fighting off the bay for the right to score No. 4 Arkansas in the Elite Eight. The Red Raiders lead 33-29 at break, here are five of our observations from the first half. (Author: Gardener)

Texas TechSAN FRANCISCO — It was an intense first 20 minutes here at the Chase Center, with No. 2 Duke and No. 3 Texas Tech battling alongside the Bay for the right to face No. 4 Arkansas in the Elite Eight. Thursday's game was billed as a classic showdown between Duke's powerful offense and Texas Tech's elite defense -- the Red Raiders are the highest-ranked team in terms of defensive efficiency this season, according to KenPom -- and Midway has neither side of theirs respective side disappointed end of the deal. Wasting no time starting on the defensive end, Texas Tech held out for nearly three minutes before eventually allowing Duke to get on the board with a tough inside jumper from second-year guard Jeremy Roach. But shortly after Roach opened the scoring, the Red Raiders beat the Blue Devils with back-to-back possessions and registered three straight fast-break buckets to go into the first timeout of the game with a 10-2 advantage. It may have been all Texas Tech in the beginning, but Duke's offense, led by Roach's solid ball handling, settled in well and set this game up for a tight final in San Francisco. If you watched Duke's win over Michigan State in the Round of 32, you probably saw freshman forward AJ Griffin exit the game in the second half with an ankle injury. Griffin was indeed well positioned, maintaining his place in the starting blocks and delivering the 3-point shooting he's known for in his freshman year in a Duke jersey. With the Blue Devils in need of a bucket after a slow start, Griffin spotted in the corner to give Duke his first three of the game, cutting Texas Tech's lead to 12-7 and igniting an 8-0 run to end the game equal at 12 at 13:15 after a hard Paolo Banchero and one. Battling a Texas Tech defense thriving on chaos, Roach offered Duke a steady hand in a hard-fought first half and gave his team the kickstart they needed early on. Throughout the first half, Roach provided the Blue Devils with the dribbling penetration and ball movement they needed to inject some much-needed flow into an otherwise tenacious early offensive performance. Keep an eye on the sophomore floor general in the initiator role - the Blue Devils will likely get the best of him to walk away with the win. The elephant in the arena, however, is that in what may be head coach Mike Krzyzewski's last game, the Blue Devils are in a fight on the touchlines and have 20 minutes to retire. The Red Raiders have controlled a good chunk of the game so far and the Blue Devils are still in the middle of the action, but the pressure is mounting for Duke to make a run, and soon. However, the Red Raiders present a new and tougher challenge down the road from this one, and unless Banchero and co. can't solve the opposition's vaunted defense and find more consistent sources of goals, Texas Tech looks set to be in the driver's seat here at Chase Center. It was an imperfect half of basketball for Duke's star freshman, but like the rest of his team, Banchero warmed up after a tough first few minutes, announcing his presence with his tie and one before scoring just moments later with a 15 sovereign 3 point shot. Every run in the Big Dance starts with a star, and if Duke is to pull that one out and make the Elite Eight, he'll likely have to do it behind Banchero's efforts. If that's the case, the Blue Devils are off to a pretty good start: Banchero has 11 points to lead Duke with a half still to play.

Read

Duke Men's Basketball beats Texas Tech in San Francisco to advance to Elite 8

With four minutes on the clock, the Blue Devils were a minute behind, despite four players having double-digit points. (Author: Gardener)

Texas TechThe second-placed Blue Devils traveled to San Francisco for the West Regional, where they defeated the third-placed Red Raiders 78-73 in the Sweet 16 at the Chase Center. After a slow start with the Red Raiders dominating the opening minutes, the Blue Devils heroically recovered as the matchup turned into a close battle of energetic attacks in the second. With four minutes on the clock, the Blue Devils were a minute behind, despite four players having double-digit points. Two Jeremy Roach drives, a Banchero triple and a Mark Williams block later, Duke was up three with a half to go. Then Roach sank another clutch jumper to put Duke down to five by less than a minute. Roach then missed the free throw, however, and Texas Tech responded with a dunk, cutting Duke's lead to three with 26 seconds left. Then, after being fouled on the inbounds, Wendell Moore Jr. walked to the line, closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and sunk two free throws to give Duke a five-point lead with a 25-point lead. Thirteen seconds, two points clear, Duke had to find a way to end the game. When Arms missed his next 3-point attempt and Banchero took one of two free throws with less than five seconds left, they had it made. After a hotly contested first half that saw Duke come into the locker room with four opponents, the Blue Devils started the second with a little more momentum, scoring on each of their first four possessions, though they couldn't stop Texas Tech from doing the same. Meanwhile, Williams quickly grabbed eight points in the first five minutes with three hits under the basket and two free throws, and graduate Theo John came on the board with a put-back layup. Then, after not leading since the middle of the first half, Duke won two points over the Red Raiders with a skillful pullup jumper from Banchero and sent the blue seas into a frenzy at Chase Center. Still, the Red Raiders would not be outdone, putting up a 4-0 burst before another drive from Roach, plus the and-one, continued an exciting back-and-forth half of basketball. While Duke's offense seemed to gain traction and move the ball to break through Texas Tech's defensive system, the Red Raiders were efficient at capitalizing on Duke's mistakes. However, a third corner from Banchero - his second three in three attempts - and two free throws from Mark Williams put the Blue Devils back in front. Although Bryson Williams sank a three to catch the Red Raiders, a drive from Moore and an and-one kept the Blue Devils a mere one-point lead. For what was described as a defensive battle, with less than seven minutes on the clock it sure looked like a gunfight. Sure enough, a spin move and layup from Banchero then secured Duke his biggest lead of the game, going to three, but Bryson Williams was quick to respond with his own for Texas Tech. The crowd reached deafening levels after a Banchero-assisted slam dunk from Williams, but the Blue Devils briefly found themselves in their own enemy as two turnovers in under 30 seconds gave the Red Raiders a chance to level again and then the game to lead Texas Tech came out to start the game on fire, forcing three turnovers and subsequent fast breaks to take a 10-2 lead in the first four and a half minutes. The Red Raiders' signature smothering defense gave them chances across the court, made worse by Duke's early shooting problems, with the Blue Devils going 1-of-5 on their first six tries. However, Duke came back into play just minutes later after taking the Blue Devils to three after back-to-back makes by AJ Griffin and Wendell Moore Jr., a steal and an and-one layup by Paolo Banchero ended the game on 13: 15 marks. Duke and Texas Tech traded baskets from there, with the Blue Devils unable to take the lead from the Red Raiders, but neither were the Red Challengers able to build a more than four lead at halftime.

Read

Texas Tech vs Duke Live Stream Free : Watch Online March Madness 2022 NCAA College Basketball Video Radio Reddit Link in Arizmendi – San Rafael in San Rafael – March 24, 2022

Texas Tech vs. Duke Event Details Live Stream Free: Watch Online March Madness 2022 NCAA College Basketball Video Radio Reddit Link in San Rafael on March 24, 2022 - Watch, Listen, Photos & Tickets (Author: Gardener)

San RafaelPaolo Banchero, who is averaging 18 points and 8.5 rebounds per game in the tournament, while A.J. Griffin is lackluster in his win over Michigan State. Texas Tech: Time, Live Stream, How to Watch Duke Basketball Live Texas Tech: Time, Live Stream, How to Watch Duke Basketball Live On Texas Tech vs. Duke live stream, Banchero tries to keep the Blue Devils dancing ! In the live stream Texas Tech vs. Duke, Banchero tries to make the Blue Devils dance! Texas Tech (27-9) is the West Region three-piece and they clinched a 59-53 win over Notre Dame in the second round of the tournament. Texas Tech (27-9) is the West Region three-piece and they clinched a 59-53 win over Notre Dame in the second round of the tournament. The Red Raiders' Kevin Obanor, Bryson Williams and Kevin McCullar combined for the team's 43 points for the win. The Red Raiders' Kevin Obanor, Bryson Williams and Kevin McCullar combined for the team's 43 points for the win. A senior forward, Obanor was a force in Texas Tech's first two games, averaging a double-double with 12.5 points and 13 rebounds per game. A senior forward, Obanor was a force in Texas Tech's first two games, averaging a double-double with 12.5 points and 13 rebounds per game. They've had wins over Cal State Fullerton and Michigan State to get to this point. They've had wins over Cal State Fullerton and Michigan State to get to this point. The Blue Devils will obviously be a tough time for Texas Tech as they have two players in their starting five who are expected to finish in the top 5 of June's NBA draft. The Blue Devils will obviously be a tough time for Texas Tech as they have two players in their starting five who are expected to finish in the top 5 of June's NBA draft. Paolo Banchero, who averages 18 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while A.J. Griffin put on a lackluster performance in the win over Michigan State. Texas Tech and Duke are on EVEN money. Texas Tech and Duke are on EVEN money. How To Watch Texas Tech vs Duke Live Stream Online From Anywhere On Earth How To Watch Texas Tech vs Duke Live Stream Online From Anywhere On Earth truTV can't get where you are for some weird reason – and you can't watch Texas Tech vs Duke, you're out of luck. Hoops fans, if for some reason you had to leave your own "bubble" — or you can't get truTV where you are for some weird reason — and you can't watch Texas Tech vs Duke, you're no bad luck. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear as if you're surfing the web from your hometown (or anywhere that doesn't experience power outages) and access the same streaming services you've already paid for. With a virtual private network, or VPN, you can appear as if you're surfing the web from your hometown (or anywhere that doesn't experience power outages) and access the same streaming services you've already paid for. ExpressVPN offers great speeds and excellent customer service, and they even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not happy with it. ExpressVPN offers great speeds and excellent customer service, and they even offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you're not happy with it. Live from the Chase Center in San Francisco, Duke #2 battles Texas Tech #3 in Sweet 16's sweetest matchup! Live from the Chase Center in San Francisco, Duke #2 battles Texas Tech #3 in Sweet 16's sweetest matchup! Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils defeated Cal State Fullerton and Michigan State to advance into the Sweet 16, while Texas Tech destroyed Montana State and won a 59-53 second-round matchup over Notre Dame to go two wins away from the Final Four be. Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils defeated Cal State Fullerton and Michigan State to advance into the Sweet 16, while Texas Tech destroyed Montana State and won a 59-53 second-round matchup over Notre Dame to go two wins away from the Final Four be. Will tonight be Coach K's last game in which Duke is coached, or do the Blue Devils find themselves in very elite company? Will tonight be Coach K's last game in which Duke is coached, or do the Blue Devils find themselves in very elite company? From start time to Duke basketball live stream info, here's how to watch Texas Tech vs Duke. From start time to Duke basketball live stream information: How to watch Texas Tech vs Duke live online. WHEN IS TONIGHT'S DUKE VS TEXAS TECH GAME: WHEN IS TONIGHT'S DUKE VS TEXAS TECH GAME: Tonight's matchup begins at 9:39 p.m. ET on CBS, Paramount+ and March Madness Live. Today's matchup begins at 9:39 p.m. ET on CBS, Paramount+ and March Madness Live. DUKE VS TEXAS TECH LIVE STREAM INFO: DUKE VS TEXAS TECH LIVE STREAM INFO: If you have a valid cable login you can watch any March Madness game live via March Madness Live available on Desktop, iTunes, Roku, Amazon and more is available. If you have a valid cable login, you can watch any March Madness game live via March Madness Live, available on desktop, iTunes, Roku, Amazon and more. DUKE BASKETBALL LIVE STREAM INFO: DUKE BASKETBALL LIVE STREAM INFO: Basketball fans can watch tonight's Duke game live on the CBS website or app (with valid cable login). Basketball fans can watch tonight's Duke game live on the CBS website or on the CBS app (with valid cable login). Texas Tech live with an active subscription to Paramount+'s premium plan, which is ad-free and includes a CBS live stream. Texas Tech live with an active subscription to Paramount+'s premium plan, which is ad-free and includes a CBS live stream. Paramount+ currently offers a free trial and a 25% student discount for eligible subscribers. Paramount+ currently offers a free trial and a 25% student discount for eligible subscribers. WHERE TO WATCH DUKE VS TEXAS TECH LIVE: WHERE TO WATCH DUKE VS TEXAS TECH LIVE: You can watch today's game live with an active subscription to a variety of services that offer March Madness channel packages: You can watch today's game live with Have an active subscription to a variety of services that offer March Madness channel packages: YouTube TV: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV, and CBS. YouTube TV: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS. YouTube TV is available for $54.99/month for the first three months ($64.99/month thereafter) and offers a free trial for eligible subscribers. YouTube TV is available for $54.99/month for the first three months ($64.99/month thereafter) and offers a free trial for eligible subscribers. Hulu + Live TV: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS. Hulu + Live TV: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS. DIRECTV STREAM: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS in its entertainment package, which is currently available at $59.99/month for the first three months ($69.99/month thereafter). DIRECTV STREAM: The service offers TBS, TNT, truTV and CBS in its entertainment package, which is currently available at $59.99/month for the first three months ($69.99/month thereafter). You can also stream the Duke game with an active subscription to fuboTV, which offers a CBS live stream. You can also stream the Duke game with an active subscription to fuboTV, which offers a CBS live stream. Live Stream Texas Tech vs Duke: How to Watch March Madness 2022 Online Live Stream Texas Tech vs Duke: How to Watch March Madness 2022 Online Live Stream Texas Tech vs Duke: How to Watch March Madness 2022 Online Live Stream Texas Tech vs. Duke: How to watch March Madness 2022 online Texas Tech: Time, Live stream, How to watch Duke Bas... Texas Tech: Time, Live stream, How to watch Duke Bas...

Read

The Miami Heat, currently leaders in the East, almost tore each other to pieces on Wednesday night

Jimmy Butler and Erik Spoelstra boarded in Miami on Wednesday and there were cameras everywhere to capture all the chaos. (Author: Gardener)

The Miami HeatThe Miami Heat, currently ranked first in the East, almost tore each other to pieces Wednesday night. If you hadn't been following the NBA lately and just had one look at the top of the Eastern Conference table, you'd assume things were all great in Miami Heat country. Yes, the Heat stand alone at the top of the East, but their once-comfortable lead has shrunk to 1.5 games, and it's not just a team within striking distance. The new-look Philadelphia 76ers, Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics are all there and ready to pounce, all thanks to the Heat, which has lost four of their last seven games. Frustration boiled over in their recent loss to the Golden State Warriors, who were without their big three Steph, Klay and Draymond. It got extra hot for the heat if you will. Unsurprisingly, Jimmy Butler took center stage, which was great news for the "Jimmy Butler is a terrible teammate" truther. The first clip to hit social media was from a media member seated about 20 rows up, and it showed Butler jawing and pointing the finger at both head coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat legend/bench-warmer Udonis Haslem he showed: Then the second clip hit and gave a much closer look at the chaos: Then clips three, four and five, each better than the last, with a Spoelstra clipboard smash, Kyle Lowry time out mid-action (??) demands, and an intriguing angle of Spoelstra asking in disbelief if Butler really wanted Spoelstra to fight him. And boy, as an impartial observer, it really looks like Butler, and Butler alone, is wrong here. But we should point out that this was right after a 19-0 run by the Warriors early in the third quarter, so it's fair to say everyone was heating up a little. Lowry attributed it to passionate players frustrated with losing. "Listen, our guys really want to win basketball games and we have guys that work extremely hard," Lowry said. "The passion comes out. The fire and the emotions come out sometimes. But like I said, it's not for us. Spoelstra echoed that sentiment, even going so far as to say it could help the team in the long run. "You can Use moments during the season to catapult yourself,” said Spoelstra. “You can overcome frustration and disappointment together. Teams can also go the other way. The good news for Miami is that the New York Knicks are next up. A get-right game if we've ever seen one.

Read

Heat frustration boils over into Butler Haslem spit

The Miami Heat vented their frustrations during a controversial side dispute in Wednesday night's 118-104 loss to the Warriors that cut the team's East lead to 1½ games. (Author: Gardener)

Butler HaslemErik Spoelstra, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and Fr. Erik Spoelstra, Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo and P.J. Tucker explain what happened during a heated disagreement between Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem. J. Tucker explain what happened during a heated disagreement between Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem. MIAMI — Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem yelled at each other, fingers pointed in different directions, some Miami players tried to play peacemakers and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra slammed a clipboard on the floor in frustration. And that wasn't the low point of the evening for the Heat. The Heat fell 118-104 against the undermanned Golden State Warriors and suffered their second straight loss and fourth in their last seven games - suddenly Miami's grip on the top spot in the Eastern Conference is tenuous at best. Spirits flared on the Miami bench in the second half as Golden State started the third quarter on a 19-0 run. During a timeout amid the Warriors' excitement, Butler and Spoelstra had things to say to each other. Butler and Haslem then exchanged words, both of which eventually had to be held back by teammates. After the game, Miami took about 35 minutes to emerge from the locker room for post-game interviews, about three times the usual time. Heat guard Kyle Lowry has chalked up the incident to passionate players who are frustrated at losing. Wednesday's loss cut the Heat's lead in the Eastern Conference race to 1½ games over Milwaukee and Boston. "Listen, our guys really want to win basketball games and we have guys that work extremely hard," Lowry said. "The passion comes out. Spoelstra brushed aside the confrontations on the sidelines and said he believed they would not affect the team later on. "We have bigger things to achieve," said Spoelstra. "But we want to play better. It starts with our leadership, our experienced players have to lead and then we just have to play better. We have to play more consistently, and that was actually all of the discussions. I know what it might look like on the outside, but as I mentioned, that's more our language than playing without passion or without harshness or without multiple efforts. I don't see that in our dressing room. The Heat have a day off before returning to action on Friday when they host the New York Knicks.

Read

Celtics have golden opportunity to push for No. 1 seed amid heat turmoil

The Celtics drew within 1.5 games of the league leaders from the East after Wednesday's win against the Jazz. (Author: Gardener)

1BOSTON — After the Celtics' fifth straight win and their 21st overall win in their last 24 games, the only sign of discord in Boston's locker room has been comical. Whether it was Deuce Tatum trying to nab Marcus Smart during an inbounds game , or Jaylen Brown, who accused Jayson Tatum of stealing his signature air kisses in celebration of the crowd, the late-night vibe for this group has been upbeat since mid-January. "We're feeling great man," Brown said after scoring a team-high 26 points. “We feel great. I keep saying we just take it one day at a time. That mentality went from 11th overall in the Eastern Conference to a tie with Milwaukee and Philadelphia in early January. Even with only eight games left, the fight for the top spot in the Eastern Conference suddenly seems within reach despite strong competition. "That's crazy, isn't it?" Brown said of the opportunity. “I feel like all of this has been first class, very, very first class for us. It's crazy to know we have a game and a half - as many games as we screwed up in the first half of the season. It would have been nice to have won some of those games because maybe we would be first now, but everything happens for a reason. So let's take one game at a time. We'll see where we are by playoff time.” Suddenly the Heat to challenge that No. 1 spot doesn't seem like a pipe dream, even with limited time left on the regular season calendar. Wednesday night was Miami's second ugly loss in a row, at home to a Warriors team that was without all their stars. More importantly, there are signs of cracks in Miami's ranks following a heated confrontation between Udonis Haslem, Erik Spoelstra and All-Star Jimmy Butler during a third-quarter timeout. We have a competitive, gnarly group and we've had our ass kicked in two games in a row," Spoelstra said of the clash. Virtually every single person in that bunch was quite animated by our disappointment with how we played.” Sidefights do occur from time to time in the NBA, but few reach this level and include such prominent personnel on a team . Spoelstra did his best to downplay the post-game situation, although he delayed his own press conference after the loss. "You can use moments during a season to catapult yourself," Spoelstra said. Teams can also go the other way. Spoelstra can try to minimize the impact of such an ugly exchange, but there's no question that there's something beneath the surface that could have a lasting impact. The Celtics have seen firsthand that these types of confrontations are not promising signs of a team's prospects, especially in the short term. Whether it was Brown and Marcus Morris having a pushing match on the bench during the 2018-19 season in Miami, or the team's huge shooting game in the locker room after losing to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals in the playoff Bubble 2020, those moments reflected teams that weren't fully together at the time. The Celtics had their tough moment earlier this year, at least publicly, when Marcus Smart bemoaned Brown and Tatum's poor passing. However, it is evident that the trio and team worked through these issues in a 21-3 stretch, praising one another. "Marcus was great," Brown said. We trust him to be the central person and he made it easier for everyone. Marcus did a great job. What he's doing on both sides of the ball has been great for us and he's a big reason the team turned things around. So give credit where credit is due; Marcus has been a huge anchor for us on offense and defense that has led to the results we're seeing now.” With Miami showing cracks in their foundation, the Celtics now have an opportunity to ride that wave and move into the East playoffs against an overloaded field to secure a major advantage. Boston has another direct meeting with Miami at the Garden next Wednesday night. Meanwhile, the Heat have plenty of potential losses on their own schedule over the next two weeks, including matchups against the full-strength Nets and the Bulls and Raptors on the road. If Boston can take care of business, the #1 seed is there to take. It's not going to be easy, with Boston still having the fourth-toughest schedule in the NBA, but with the team humiliating opponents every night, it might not be much of a deterrent to carrying that momentum into the postseason. The Celtics have figured out their identity and rotation and will have plenty of time to rest with at least five days off between the end of the regular season and the start of Round 1. That, along with Miami's suddenly vulnerable state, should give Ime Udoka an incentive to step on the gas on the track and push this team to the grand prize in the east.

Read

Jimmy Butler lunges at coaches and teammates during the Miami Heat's loss to Golden State

Miami couldn't hit anything to start the second half. At this point, the Heat appeared to be contemplating hitting each other in a scene Jimmy Butler was in the middle of. (Author: Gardener)

Jimmy ButlerMIAMI — Jimmy Butler and Udonis Haslem yelled at each other, fingers pointed in different directions, some Miami players tried to play peacemakers and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra slammed a clipboard on the floor in frustration. And that wasn't the low point of the evening for the Heat. The understaffed Golden State Warriors made things worse for Miami when the final buzzer rang -- and suddenly Miami's grip on the top spot in the Eastern Conference is tenuous at best. Jordan Poole scored 30 points to continue his hot scoring run and had a career-best nine assists, and the Warriors grabbed the first 19 points of the second half en route to beating the frustrated Heat 118-104 on Wednesday night. Miami couldn't hit anything to start the second half. At that moment, the Heat seemed to consider hitting each other. Golden State started the third quarter on a 19-0 run -- topped by three 3-pointers by Poole from 31, 35 and 30 feet, two of them landing right in front of the heat-bank to make a disastrous start worse for Miami. And during a break during a time-out during these Warriors' excitement, tempers flared on the Miami bench. Butler, who had several encounters during his time with the Timberwolves, and Spoelstra had something to say to each other. Butler and Haslem then exchanged words, both of which eventually had to be held back by teammates. The Heat went on a 19-6 run to reduce the lead to 75-69, held the lead to 81-80 going into the fourth, and rose by three early in the final quarter before Golden State rallied , in order to win. It took Heat players and Spoelstra about 35 minutes to get out of the dressing room after the game, about three times longer than normal. Here's what Spoelstra had to say about the bench scene: Damion Lee, Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins each scored 22 points for the Warriors, who grabbed 11 points from Gary Payton II and 16 rebounds from Kevon Looney. The Warriors were already without Stephen Curry with a sprained left foot and Andre Iguodala with lower back strains, while Draymond Green, Otto Porter Jr. and Klay Thompson also had the night off to treat injuries. Golden State made the decision based on medical reasons and a desire to minimize the risk of injury in the playoffs -- not because of a heavy loss in Orlando on Tuesday. The heat, they just had problems. Kyle Lowry scored 26 points, Bam Adebayo had 25, Butler finished with 20 and Duncan Robinson had 13. Miami shook off the huge Warriors run to start the second half - and a huge dust on his bench during a timeout - to short leading in the fourth then let the game slip and had trimmed his lead in the Eastern Conference race to 1-1/2 games over Milwaukee and Boston. "You can use moments during the season to catapult yourself," said Spoelstra.

Read

Another day, another win for Naomi Osaka at the Miami Open

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Two days, two wins and making it look easy. (Author: Gardener)

Another dayNaomi Osaka of Japan plays a ball in her women's second round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Angelique Kerber of Germany returns a ball in her women's second round match against Naomi Osaka of Japan, at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Naomi Osaka of Japan gestures after winning her women's second round match against Angelique Kerber from Germany at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday March 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Sebastian Korda of the USA throws up a ball to serve in his men's first round match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain at the Miami Open tennis tournament on Thursday March 24th. 2022, at Miami Gardens, Fla. Fans of Sebastian Korda of the U.S. cheer during his men's first round match against Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain at the Miami Open tennis tournament, Thursday, March 24, 2022, in Miami Gardens , Fla. A tennis fan wears an anti-war t-shirt while he during the Miami Open tennis tournament on Thursday, March 24, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida watching a match between Elina Svitolina of Ukraine and Heather Watson of Great Britain. MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - Two days, two wins and making it look easy. The former world no. Osaka won 89% of the first serve points and 61 of the 100 total points played in the game. "It means a lot to me," said Osaka, who was unseeded in Miami after falling to No. 77 in the world because she's missed a lot of time to focus on her mental health in recent years. "She's the first high-ranked player I've beaten this year." Kerber is 15th in the world; The last time Osaka defeated a top 15 player was when she defeated then No. 10 Serena Williams in the semifinals of the 2021 Australian Open. Osaka won that tournament and hasn't been in a final since but her win over Kerber — who beat Osaka 4-1 on Thursday — certainly made her look like a Miami contender. "I went into the match because I just wanted to play my game," said Osaka, who has yet to lose a set in her two matches in Miami; She defeated Astra Sharma 6-3, 6-4 on Wednesday. “I still have the memories of all the games she beat me in before. So yeah, I just wanted to play as best as I could. Kerber's defeat was part of a tough day for seeded players on the women's side. No. 18 Leylah Fernandez, No. 25 Daria Kasatkina and No. 31 Alize Cornet were all defeated in straight sets on Thursday. Last year S. Open finalist - lost to Karolina Muchova from Czech Republic 6:4, 7:6 (3). Muchova, who has not played since the US Open almost seven months ago due to a stomach injury, meets Osaka for a place in the round of 16. "It was a win for me to play and compete again," Muchova said. New rules aim to decide US asylum cases in months, not years, which sees No. 8 Ons Jabeur, another winner who overtakes Poland's Magda Linette 7-6(1), 6-2. Among the men's winners was Sebastian Korda of the USA, who reached the quarterfinals in Miami last year. He rolled past Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Spain 6-1, 6-1 in a first-round match, leaving the court in just over an hour on a summery South Florida day. "I'm a boy from Florida," Korda said. "I love the humidity. Heat and humidity are my two favorite things. I just play really good tennis in it.”

Read

Heat loses footing on No. 1; Suns can secure first place in the overall standings

Also, Boston is expected to end up as the No. 2 seed of the East (Author: Gardener)

SunsThe race for the Eastern Conference No. 1 is going to be tight. After a second disastrous loss in a row to an undermanned team, the Miami Heat's lead over the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers has shrunk to one in the loss column, and they are down to two teams over the red-hot Celtics with fewer than 10 games to play . Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks have reached a tie for the West No. 4 with the Utah Jazz, and those two still have a head-to-head match on Sunday. Below is where things come into play on Thursday, March 24th. NOTE: Our SportsLine model, developed by Predictive Data Engineer Stephen Oh, simulates the entire season 10,000 times and is constantly updated to reflect changing circumstances to produce the most unbiased and accurate predictions imaginable for Phoenix's Victory or a loss in Memphis for a No. 1 seed overall. No. 2 Grizzlies: Season streak to play 1-1 with one The Grizzlies have a two-game lead over No. 3 Golden State with a head-to-head matchup remaining. Memphis has an effective six-game lead over No. 4 Utah (Grizzlies hold the tiebreaker) and a five-game lead over No. 5 Dallas (Maverick's own tiebreaker). No. 3 Warriors: Grizzlies lead the season streak 2-1, with one game against No. 4 Jazz: Memphis prevailed by a 2-1 head-to-head advantage The Warriors trail two games behind No. 2 Memphis , with a matchup pending March 28. The Warriors are also playing Utah -- whom they lead in the loss column by three points -- again (April 2). No. 2 Grizzlies: Warriors Trail Season Series 2-1 to play with a No. 4 Jazz: Warriors lead season series 2-1 with one to play Utah fell Wednesday in Boston after losing to Brooklyn on Monday and has fallen into a tie with No. 5 Dallas with a head-to-head match remaining on March 27th. Utah is behind No. 2 Memphis with six games effective and No. 3 Golden State with three games and 10 games to play. Grizzlies #2: Memphis came out on top with a 2-1 head-to-head advantage. #3 Warriors: Jazz Trail Season Series 2v1 to play with one #5 Mavericks: Jazz Lead Season Series 2v1 to play with one 6 Nuggets: Utah prevailed 4-0 head-to-head advantage The Mavericks are tied with the No. 4 Jazz entered a tie with a head-to-head match pending. Dallas has a three-game effective lead over the No. 6 Nuggets (Dallas owns the tiebreaker) and a four-game lead over the No. 7 Timberwolves while inching closer to a playoff berth. #2 Grizzlies: Dallas came out on top with a 3-1 head-to-head advantage. #3 Warriors: Dallas went down with a 3:1 head-to-head advantage to play Nuggets #6: Dallas went down by a 2:1 head-to-head advantage. Timberwolves #7: Dallas leads the season series 2-1 with a game to go. The Nuggets have a two-game lead over the No. 7 Wolves with a head-to-head match remaining on April 1. Denver is behind No. 5 Dallas with three effective games as the Mavericks own the tiebreaker. #4 Jazz: Utah prevailed with a 4-0 head-to-head advantage. #5 Mavericks: Dallas came out on top with a 2-1 head-to-head advantage. Head-to-Head Advantage #5 Mavericks: Dallas have secured a head-to-head advantage by going 2-1. No. 6 Timberwolves: Denver are 2-1 adrift of the season series with a game to go-six seeded, with two games behind the Nuggets and a head-to-head game remaining. If Minnesota wins that April 1 game, it would win the season tiebreak against Denver. No. 6 Nuggets: Timberwolves lead the season series 2-1 with a game remaining. No. 8 Clippers: LA prevailed with a 3-1 head-to-head advantage. The Clippers are fairly certain to remain at No. 8, followed by the No. 7 Timberwolves with six points in the loss column and the No. 9 Lakers with five games effectively with eight games to play. No. 9 Pelicans: New Orleans won with a 3-0 head-to-head advantage. No. 10 Lakers: Clippers won with a 4-0 head-to-head advantage. The Lakers lost to the Sixers on Wednesday and are now tied with the Pelicans losing with two head-to-head matches remaining. #8 Clippers: Clippers prevailed with a 4-0 head-to-head advantage. #10 Pelicans: Lakers Trail Season Series 1-0 with two matchups remaining. No. 12 Spurs: San Antonio currently owns a conference record (head-to (tie 2-2 head-to-head, neither team leads division) The Pelicans are tied in the loss column and the Lakers have two heads left -to-head matches (March 27 and April 1), which will determine the tiebreaker The Pelicans have a two-loss lead over No. 11 Spurs with two head-to-head matches remaining 9 Lakers: Pelicans lead season series 1-0 with two matchups remaining #12 Spurs: Pelicans lead season series 2-0 with two matchups remaining Column *#12 Portland Trail Blazers: Pelicans No. 10 are behind by three in the loss column but are believed to be tanking.The Heat fell to Philadelphia on Monday and the Warriors on Wednesday and now hold a lead with losses to No. 2 Milwaukee and No. 3 Philadelphia and a two-loss lead over No. 4 Boston n with a head-to-head matchup. #2 Philadelphia: Miami currently owns a conference record (2-2 season streak, both teams division-lead). secured himself by a 2-0 head-to-head advantage with one head-to-head match remaining. Chicago: Bucks leads season series 2-0, two games to go Philly is tied with No. 3 Milwaukee with one remaining head-to-head match (March 29). The Sixers are behind No. 1 Miami by one loss and have a one-loss lead over No. 4 Boston (whoever finishes higher would also hold the tiebreaker as Atlantic Division winners and tie the season series 2-2). SportsLine forecasts put Philadelphia at No. 4 behind Boston. #1 Miami: Miami currently owns a conference-record (2-2 season streak, both teams lead the division) #3 Milwaukee: 1-1 season streak with one matchup remaining #4 Boston: Philly currently owns as an Atlantic division Leader (2-2 2-2 tie) No. 5 Chicago: Sixers edged through a 4-0 head-to-head advantage over No. 1 Miami with just one loss, but the Heat currently own the Conference record tiebreaker. The Bucks have a one-game lead over the Celtics with a matchup remaining that could also give Boston the tiebreak. #1 Miami: Miami currently owns a conference record (season streak 2-2, both teams leading division) #2 Philadelphia: streak 1-1 with one game remaining #4 Boston: streak 2-1 with one game remaining game, the Celtics have just one loss behind the no. 2 Sixers and No. 3 bucks and two losses behind the No. 1 heat with one matchup remaining. The Celtics also have one game left with the Bucks; Winning that game would secure the tiebreaker over Milwaukee. The Celtics have a two-loss lead over the No. 5 Bulls with one matchup remaining. SportsLine forecasts say the Celtics will eventually jump both the Bucks and 76ers for the East No. 2. #2 Milwaukee: Celtics lead season streak 2-1 with one game remaining #3 Philadelphia: Philly currently owns as Atlantic division leader (tie 2-2 tie) No. 5 Chicago: tie season 1-1 with a remaining game No. 6 Cleveland: Celtics prevailed by a 2-1 head-to-head advantage. The Bulls fell to Milwaukee on Tuesday and are now just a game clear of the No. 6 Cavs with one matchup remaining. The Bulls are effectively three games ahead of 7th seed Toronto as Chicago secured the tie break. Chicago are two losses behind the No. 4 Celtics with a head-to-head game remaining that will decide the tiebreak. #2 Philadelphia: Sixers prevailed by 4-0 head-to-head advantage. #3: Milwaukee: Bulls Trail Season Series 2-0 with two games remaining. #5. Boston: Season Series Tie 6. Cleveland: Chicago leads the series 2-1 with a matchup pending #7 Toronto: Chicago earned the tiebreak by taking a 3-1 head-to-head advantage The Cavaliers are just one game behind the No. 5 Bulls and have one more matchup (March 26). Cleveland's more pressing concern is staying out of play-in; The Cavs lead the No. 7 Raptors by just one game, but the Cavs own the tiebreaker so the lead is effectively two. #4 Boston: Celtics prevailed by a 2-1 head-to-head advantage. #5 Chicago: Bulls lead the series 2-1 with a matchup remaining. No. 7 Toronto: Cavs prevailed by a 3-0 head-to-head advantage Game Remaining Advantage The Raptors crawled into the losing column of the No. 6 Cavs in one game (Cleveland owns the tiebreaker, allowing the lead is effectively two). As it currently stands, Toronto would play No. 8 Brooklyn (which it leads in the loss column by three points) in the Eastern Conference's first play-in game. #6 Cleveland: Cavs fought their way through a 3-0 head-to-head game remaining advantage. #8 Brooklyn: Raptors currently hold above division win percentage (season streak tie 2-2). The Nets fell to Memphis on Wednesday and are three losses behind the No. 7 Raptors with nine games to play. The Nets' priority is to stay in the first play-in game. They lead just one game ahead of No. 9 Charlotte, with one matchup remaining that will determine the tiebreak (March 27). #7 Toronto: Raptors currently hold above division win percentage (2-2 streak season) #9 Charlotte: 1-1 streak season, one matchup left with -head advantage with 1 game remaining #11 Washington: Nets currently own per conference record (Season streak tie 2-2) The Hornets have won five of their last six games and they control their own destiny to overtake Brooklyn for No. 8 With 10 games remaining, the Hornets trail the Nets with a matchup remaining (March 27) with a game that will determine the tiebreaker. Charlotte leads No. 10 Atlanta by one game. #8 Brooklyn: Drawn 1-1 in the season series with one matchup remaining #10 Atlanta: Hornets currently hold conference record Atlanta beat the Knicks on Tuesday but gave it back in a loss to Detroit on Wednesday. Atlanta is still a game behind the No. 9 Hornets with nine to play. The Hawks are two points behind the No. 8 Nets in the loss column (one matchup with Brooklyn remains, though the Nets already have the tiebreaker). #8 Brooklyn: The Nets settled by a 2-0 head-to-head advantage with one game remaining *tiebreaker vs. *tiebreaker vs. *tiebreaker vs. *tiebreaker vs. *tiebreaker vs. *tiebreaker vs * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. * Tiebreaker vs. No 9. Charlotte: Charlotte currently owns over Conference Win Percentage * No. 11 New York Knicks: Five losses behind No. 10 Atlanta * No. 12 Washington Wizards: Four losses behind No. 10 Atlanta

Read