Heat trade Meyers Leonard to Thunder for Trevor Ariza
FILE - Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)MIAMI – The Miami Heat have turned Meyers Leonard's contract into an opportunity to see if Trevor Ariza can help them for the rest of this season. AdThe Heat also said they wish Leonard and his wife Elle “the best of luck in the future.”“He's going to do everything that he possibly can to grow and get better from everything this week," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. Ariza has not played an NBA game since March 10, 2020, but the Heat clearly felt he was worth the low-risk gamble. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver fined Leonard $50,000 and barred him from being around the Heat for one week.
Heat top Magic 111-103, get over .500 for 1st time this year
MIAMI – For the first time this season, the Miami Heat have a winning record. Miami opened the season with a loss to Orlando, and had gone 0-6 in opportunities this season to move over .500 — until Thursday. Tyler Herro scored 17 points, Kendrick Nunn had 13 and Goran Dragic added 11 for the Heat. All-Star Nikola Vucevic finished with 24 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Magic, who have dropped six straight. MAGIC CHAMPSOrlando’s G League affiliate, the Lakeland Magic, won that league’s championship Thursday by topping the Philadelphia-affiliated Delaware Blue Coats.
NBA fines Meyers Leonard $50,000 for anti-Semitic slur
FILE - Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Miami. Leonard made an ethnic slur while streaming a video game, a comment that was quickly condemned by the NBA shortly after it learned of the matter Tuesday, March 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)MIAMI – The NBA has fined Meyers Leonard $50,000, the maximum allowed by league policy, and suspended him from using all Miami Heat facilities and activities for one week in response to his use of an anti-Semitic term. Commissioner Adam Silver, in announcing those sanctions Thursday, also said that he believes Leonard “is genuinely remorseful” for using the slur. “Meyers Leonard’s comment was inexcusable and hurtful and such an offensive term has no place in the NBA or in our society,” Silver said.
Heat say Meyers Leonard will be away from team after slur
FILE - Miami Heat forward Meyers Leonard, center, greets his teammates before an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, file)MIAMI – The Miami Heat said Tuesday night that Meyers Leonard will be away from the team indefinitely, sharply criticizing his use of an anti-Semitic slur while playing a video game that was being livestreamed. “The Miami Heat vehemently condemns the use of any form of hate speech,” the team statement said. “The words used by Meyers Leonard were wrong and we will not tolerate hateful language from anyone associated with our franchise. To hear it from a Miami Heat player is especially disappointing and hurtful to all those who work here, as well as the larger South Florida, Miami Heat and NBA communities.”The team also said it will cooperate with the NBA's investigation.
NBA says national anthem will be played after Mark Cuban bucks tradition
A United States flag is displayed as the national anthem is sung before an NBA basketball game between the Chicago Bulls and the Milwaukee Bucks, Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Matt Marton)DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban relented Wednesday and the national anthem will be played before home games this season after the NBA reiterated its “longstanding league policy” to include the song. “With NBA teams now in the process of welcoming fans back into their arenas, all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy,” the league said. “We have no problem playing the national anthem at all,” Cuban said. Patrick said he intends to introduce a bill in the Texas Senate that will ensure the national anthem is played at all events that receive public funding.
Heat's Bradley on COVID-19 diagnosis: 'I was really nervous'
Washington Wizards forward Troy Brown Jr., left, loses control of the ball as Miami Heat guard Avery Bradley (11) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)MIAMI – Miami guard Avery Bradley went nearly two weeks without seeing his wife and children after testing positive for COVID-19, a brutally hard part of his ordeal with the illness. “I was really nervous,” Bradley said. “It’s really frustrating,” Bradley said. The Heat start a seven-game road trip in Houston on Thursday; Bradley isn’t expected to travel because of his injury.
'We have to figure this out': Heat say turnaround will come
Miami Heat players Udonis Haslem, left, talks to Jimmy Butler during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021, in Miami. The Miami Heat aren’t believing that quite yet — even after a disastrous start to the 2020-21 campaign. “Heat Nation, we are going to figure this out,” All-Star center Bam Adebayo said. AdThe year after losing the finals has not been kind to the most recent teams who have dropped the title series. Tyler Herro missed seven games with neck spasms.
Harden, Durant help Nets break away late, beat Heat 98-85
Harden and Durant each scored 20 points despite three relatively quiet quarters, and the Nets broke away with a big run in the fourth to beat the Miami Heat 98-85 on Monday night. Kyrie Irving added 16 points for the Nets, who completed a sweep of the Heat in two games that couldn't have been more different. “I think our defense held tight the whole game,” Durant said. Miami took a 45-41 edge into halftime, going just 4 for 19 on 3s but doubling the Nets' makes after they went 2 for 17. Nets: Durant missed his first six 3-point attempts before sinking one in the third quarter.
It's done: The NBA comes back on Dec. 22, a 72-game season
It’s official: The NBA is coming back Dec. 22. Teams will play a 72-game schedule, which will be revealed in the coming weeks. It'll be much tougher to avoid a COVID-related issue with the league back to some sort of normalcy this season. For the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and Eastern Conference champion Heat, it will be the shortest offseason in NBA history — with seven weeks separating the end of the NBA Finals and the planned Dec. 1 start of training camp. The NBA shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 11, then took 22 of its 30 teams to Disney to resume the season in July.
Halfway home: Lakers top Heat 124-114 for 2-0 Finals lead
The NBA Finals are halfway to a coronation. And the last time the Lakers’ franchise has wasted a 2-0 lead was in the 1969 finals against Boston. The Heat have rallied from a 2-0 series hole only once in eight previous tries, that one being the 2006 NBA Finals. ... James, in his 10th NBA Finals, has a 2-0 lead in the title series for the first time. YOUNGEST STARTERHerro, at 20 years, 256 days, became the youngest player to start an NBA Finals game.
Heat rule Adebayo, Dragic out for Game 2 of NBA Finals
Los Angeles Lakers' LeBron James (23), left, takes the ball as Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo (13) winces during Game 1 of basketball's NBA Finals Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Adebayo had to leave the game with a left shoulder strain. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Bam Adebayo and Goran Dragic were both ruled out of Game 2 of the NBA Finals on Friday with injury, leaving the Miami Heat down two starters for their matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers. Adebayo is dealing with issues with his left shoulder and the left side of his neck. Dragic tore his left plantar fascia in Game 1. There has been no final determination for the availability of Adebayo and Dragic for Game 3 of the series on Sunday night.
Heat use big 4th quarter to take 3-0 series lead over Bucks
The Heat outscored Milwaukee 40-13 in the fourth quarter the biggest such final-quarter margin in NBA playoff history to take a 3-0 series lead. Adebayo had 20 points and 16 rebounds, and Jae Crowder had 17 points to help the Heat improve to 7-0 in this postseason. Butler had 17 of his points in the fourth, and the Heat pulled off their biggest fourth-quarter playoff comeback ever. Butler had the next nine Miami points as the Heat went back on top, and he set Adebayo up for a short basket with 4:20 remaining to restore a 100-99 lead. ...GIANNIS 1KA dunk in the fourth quarter gave Antetokounmpo 19 points on the night and 1,000 in his 42-game playoff career.
Blazers make playoffs, oust Grizzlies with 126-122 victory
Portland finished eighth in the West, Memphis was ninth, and the Grizzlies needed to sweep a two-game matchup to advance. They had a chance, up eight in the final quarter, before Portland did what Portland does in the bubble find a way at the end. The Grizzlies' 42-point third quarter matched the second-highest scoring period of the season for Memphis and was the second-highest scoring third quarter in franchise history. LOOKING AHEADThe Lakers went 2-1 against the Blazers this season, with the road team winning all three games. Anthony Davis (32.0 ppg) and LeBron James (24.7 ppg) led the Lakers; Lillard (36.0 ppg) and Whiteside (22.0 ppg) led the Blazers.
Butler, Adebayo score 22 each as Heat top Nuggets 125-105
Kelly Olynyk scored all of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Heat, who shot 56% from the field. But we started playing a lot harder in the second.Nikola Jokic and Jerami Grant each scored 19 points for Denver. ... F Jae Crowder made his second start of the season. Nuggets: The 1 p.m. Eastern start time -- 11 a.m. in Denver -- was the Nuggets second earliest of the season. Nuggets: Play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
Lakers' Anthony Davis to wear own name on jersey in Orlando
FILE - In this March 3, 2020, file photo, Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis celebrates after scoring during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, in Los Angeles. Jusuf Nurkic is back and healthy. So are Zach Collins, Meyers Leonard, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Anthony Davis and plenty of others. If the four-month NBA shutdown had a silver lining, its that a lot of ailing players got well. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)
Practices begin at Disney, as teams begin restart routines
Cars drive under a sign greeting visitors near the entrance to Walt Disney World, Thursday, July 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Despite a huge surge of Floridians testing positive for the new coronavirus in recent weeks, Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom, two of Disney World's four parks are reopening Saturday, July 11. He had just walked off the court after the first Orlando Magic practice of the restart, and some of his teammates remained on the floor while engaged in a loud and enthusiastic shooting contest. We all missed it.The last eight teams were coming in Thursday, the Los Angeles Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers among them. I really think the NBA did the best they could to know make this as good as they can for us.
NBA shutdown allowed many in league unexpected time to heal
If the four-month NBA shutdown had a silver lining, its that a lot of ailing players got well. Thats when he realized a bright side of the NBAs coronavirus shutdown. And its hard to say good things came from it.Fact is, though, some good things have emerged on the injury fronts. After 60 or 65 games, most players were likely dealing with some sort of aches-and-pains issue anyway. I feel 100% healthy.