(Basketball news) The Miami Heat virtually sealed the top spot in the Eastern Conference standings after their resounding 144-115 victory over the Hornets. For the Heats, Tyler Herro scored 35 points off the bench, Jimmy Butler added 27 points, Bam Adebayo had 22 and Duncan Robinson broke out of a recent scoring slump with 21 points. Herro was 8 of 14 from behind the arc and tied Dwyane Wade's single-game record for points by a Heat reserve. For the Hornets, Miles Bridges scored 29 points and LaMelo Ball finished with 18 points and 14 assists. With this result the Miami Heat moved closer to clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs with a record of 52-28.
“Role and involvement and everything has looked different night to night,'' said Robinson, now on Miami's second unit. ''That's what you get when you play on a good team with a lot of guys that can do a lot of different things. For me, it's just about wrapping my mind around that.”
''I have to give credit to my teammates. They trust me to have the ball in my hands and let me be myself,'' Herro said. ''I couldn't do it without them. Another good win for us and just getting ready for the playoffs.''
''I'm kind of surprised, a different sense of urgency, but we have to fix it next game,'' Bridges said. ''We have to get better. Around this time if you don't have a sense of urgency, you shouldn't be playing. We just have to fix that.''
“The ball was moving, guys were helping each other get shots,'' Miami assistant Quinn said. ''It really was a team effort offensively.''
The Los Angeles Lakers’ disappointing season finally came to an end when they lost 121-110 against the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers have potentially five future Hall of Famers on their roster – James, Davis, Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard and still couldn't find a way to make the playoffs, which will disappoint the fans all over the world as the Lakers franchise will need introspect and make a lot of changes next season. On the other hand, Booker scored 32 points to lead the Suns to their franchise-record 63rd victory as Ayton had 22 points for Phoenix, and avoided its first three-game losing streak of the season. For the Lakers, Russell Westbrook scored 28 points while Anthony Davis added 21 points and 13 rebounds as the Suns extended their record to 63-16, which is subsequently the best in the league.
''Tonight is unbelievably special for so many people,'' Suns coach Monty Williams said. ''Not just the organization, but the people in the city, who have basically birthed the Suns. Everywhere I go, people say the Suns are their baby.
''All I could do in the last five seconds of the game is tell everybody how much I appreciate them,'' Suns forward Deandre Ayton said. ''And there's a lot more to go. But on this team, we celebrate everything.''
''We fell short. We were eliminated tonight,'' Frank Vogel said. ''I can say it has not been due to lack of effort. We have all put in the work. Our guys stayed fighting right until the end. We brought integrity to the process. We just fell short though a disjointed season.''
''Some things we could control, some things we couldn't,'' Anthony said. ''It is nothing more than we just didn't get it done. We can't make excuses; we just didn't get it done
The other results were:
- Pacers 122 – 131 76ers
- Magic 120 – 115 Cavs
- Raptors 118 – 108 Hawks
- Nets 118 – 105 Rockets
- Thunder 98 – 94 TrailBlazers
- Bulls 106 – 127 Bucks
- Timberwolves 114 – 132 Wizards
- Nuggets 97 – 116 Spurs
- Jazz 121 – 115 Grizzlies
- Kings 109 – 123 Pelicans
Tomorrow’s fixtures are:
- Pistons vs Mavericks
- Knicks vs Nets
- Bulls vs Celtics
- Hawks vs Wizards
- Jazz vs Thunder
- Clippers vs Suns