The Milwaukee Bucks are in big trouble now in the NBA bubble. The No. 1 seed in the East is down 2-0 to the Miami Heat following a dramatic Game 2 where they lost in heartbreaking circumstances.
Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets will go on to face the Los Angeles Lakers in Round 2 after just barely beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in a thrilling Game 7 that went down to the wire.
There are also some key developments surrounding the LA Clippers as they prepare to play the Denver Nuggets in their second-round series.
As always, SBOTOP is right on top of all the latest NBA 2020 news going down in the NBA playoffs.
Heat go 2-0 up on Bucks after late drama
The Miami Heat are halfway toward completing a stunning upset of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks after a dramatic 116-114 win in Game 2 to go up 2-0 in the series.
Jimmy Butler hit two clutch free-throws with no time remaining after being fouled on a potential game-winning shot by Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo to hand the Heat the controversial win.
Antetokounmpo had 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Bucks, while Goran Dragic had a team-high 23 points for the Heat. Butler, who had 40 points in Game 1, finished with just 13 points and six assists.
The Heat were up by nine with just under two minutes left in the game, but the Bucks staged a late comeback aided by some Miami miscues.
After an Antetokounmpo dunk to cut the lead to four, Butler committed a costly turnover which led to a Brook Lopez layup. Khris Middleton then tied the game with 4.3 seconds left after he was fouled attempting a 3-pointer.
The Heat got the last shot to win the game, which Butler missed. But upon review, Antetokounmpo was adjudged to have fouled Butler with no time left in the game.
Rockets edge out Thunder in Game 7
The Houston Rockets are headed to the second round of the NBA playoffs as they beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102 in Game 7 of their first-round series.
James Harden’s block on Luguentz Dort’s 3-point attempt in the closing seconds sealed the win for the Rockets.
After going 3-of-16 in Game 5, Dort was the Thunder’s surprise hero in Game 7 with 30 points on 6-of-12 shooting on 3-pointers. Meanwhile, Chris Paul had a triple-double of 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists in a losing effort.
Harden’s late heroics helped make up for the fact that he struggled offensively in Game 7. The Rockets star had just 17 points on 4-of-15 shooting, including 1-of-9 from behind the arc.
Eric Gordon and Robert Covington led the Rockets with 21 points apiece, while Russell Westbrook added 20.
The Rockets will move on to face the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. The NBA 2020 betting odds will still have the Lakers as significant favourites to win the series, but with Westbrook back from injury and getting back to his best, the dark horse Rockets have the potential to make things difficult for the West’s top seed.
Clippers likely to get Beverley back
LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers expressed his confidence that point guard Patrick Beverley will be back for Game 1 of their second-round series against the Denver Nuggets.
“You’ll see him for sure,” Rivers said Wednesday when asked about Beverley’s status. “I’m pretty sure tomorrow [for Game 1], but I can’t guarantee that. But he looked pretty good.”
Beverley has played just four games in the bubble for the Clippers due to a lingering calf injury. He last played in Game 1 of their first-round series against the Dallas Mavericks but missed the next five games.
Landry Shamet filled in for Beverley in the starting line-up against the Mavs. The second-year guard averaged 11.5 points and went 11-of-22 on 3-pointers as a starter.
Beverley’s return comes at the right time for the Clippers, who will need his excellent defence against the Denver Nuggets’ Jamal Murray. Murray had a terrific series against the Utah Jazz, where he had two 50-point games as well as two other games with 35 or more points to help the Nuggets win in seven games.
In other Clippers news, forward Marcus Morris Sr. has been fined $35,000 for his hard foul on the Mavericks’ Luka Doncic.
Morris was ejected early in Game 6 because of the foul, but he has escaped suspension and will be available to play in Game 1 against the Nuggets.
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