NBA DAILY DRIBBLE: Give us Raptors-Heat in the Playoffs please


NBA results, January 10, 2018

Miami Heat 90 – Toronto Raptors 89

Portland Trail Blazers 117 – OKC Thunder 106

Dallas Mavericks 114 – Orlando Magic 99

LA Lakers 99 – Sacramento Kings 86

Three things that happened in the NBA today

1. The Raptors get “Heated”

It was a tight game between the Toronto Raptors and the Miami Heat. The Raptors were playing a second game of a back-to-back set and were missing starting point guard, Kyle Lowry. This was the perfect time for the Heat to win a game over the second-seeded Raptors.

The game was a chippy, defensive affair with both teams playing physical basketball. Things boiled over in the third quarter when Serge Ibaka and James Johnson were jostling for position. Johnson slapped Ibaka’s arm away and in return Ibaka pushed Johnson. Then Johnson threw a punch that hit Ibaka and the Raptors big man answered back with blows of his own.

Both players were ejected for the incident.

The game took a dramatic turn from that point on as both teams battled hard for the win. The Heat took a seven-point lead midway through the third quarter and looked poised to win the game. But DeMar DeRozan towed his team back to the lead (Twice!) with tough shots over the Heat defense. He scored on a put back in the final few seconds to give Toronto a one-point lead.

With three seconds left to execute, Miami ran a great play that got Wayne Ellington the step on Pascal Siakam in the corner. Ellington had a clear lane to the hoop and scored the game-winning bucket.

Final buzzer, game done, no more drama right? Wrong. After the game, Goran Dragic and DeRozan got into a scuffle of their own. Dragic and DeRozan were face-to-face talking and then DeRozan pushes Dragic away and even tries to punch Dragic before the two were separated.

Currently, the Raptors are second in the East while the Heat are fourth. If things shake up, the two could be headed for a first round 3-6 match-up. Or even better, a second round match-up with higher stakes.

2. Lonzo Ball didn’t duck De’Aaron Fox again

This time around, Lonzo Ball showed up.

This is a rivalry that goes back to their days in the NCAA. Fox lit up Ball in their tournament match-up and the Kentucky Wildcats eliminated the UCLA Bruins. The two were then compared to each other during the run-up to the NBA Draft will Ball going number 2 and Fox going fifth.

In the Las Vegas Summer League, Ball sat out his first meeting against Fox with an ankle injury. Ball sat out their preseason meeting with an ankle injury again.

That’s when the jokes surrounding the two started.

In their first regular season meeting, Ball outplayed Fox with a double-double of 11 points and 11 assists. But Fox and the Sacramento Kings won the game (Fox scored 13).

In their second meeting this season, Ball had no ankle injury and didn’t duck Fox. Fox outscored Ball again 15 to 5. But Ball had an all-around game with 11 rebounds, 11 assists and five steals. This time, the Lakers won.

3. CJ McCollum blazing the trail

With Damian Lillard still out with a calf injury, CJ McCollum continues to step up. Against the OKC Thunder, he scored 27 points and dished out seven assists to lead the team to a big win.

Two other Blazers scored 20 or more points. Jusuf Nurkic scored 20 with eight boards while Shabazz Napier scored 21 with two treys.

Did an NBA superstar get ejected today

Yes. Please see item number 1.

Photo from AP

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