Heat 111, Hornets 107
Wizards 117, Nets 103
Mavericks 125, Pelicans 118
76ers 123, Bucks 120
Clippers 142, Rockets 111
What went down
The double OT game between the Miami Heat and Charlotte Hornets felt like a throwback to the mid-2000s: not a lot of offense and a ton of grimy defense. That the Heat pulled off this style against a high-octane offense like Charlotte says a lot about them as contenders.
The action pretty much picked up right at the final two minutes of every period with Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry making big shots for Miami and LaMelo Ball and PJ Washington keeping Charlotte in the game. A game so out-of-place for today’s time, of course, got an unlikely ending: Butler drilling a triple.
The most important Jimmy bucket of the night 🙌 pic.twitter.com/vEIBbW6RLN— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 18, 2022
The Heat enter the All-Star break on top of the Eastern Conference standings with a 38-21 record. The Hornets dropped to ninth in East at 29-31, losing all six of their overtime games this season. They might have exciting players but Charlotte has yet to figure out a solid plan to close out games.
In Milwaukee, the duel between leading MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo ended with Embiid's 76ers rallying late to outlast Giannis’ Bucks.
Milwaukee was in control with four minutes remaining after a Khris Middleton triple put them up 116-112. From there, the Sixers’ defense was the difference. Though Milwaukee only had seven turnovers the entire game, two of them came in a Philly 8-0 run that put the Sixers up 120-116 with 40 seconds left, sealing the game.
Embiid showed why he’s the league’s leading scorer, dropping 42 points to go with 14 rebounds and five assists. Giannis also had a monstrous line of 32 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.
The East is so tight right now as Milwaukee and Philadelphia enter the All-Star break tied in third with the Cleveland Cavaliers, just 2.5 games behind first placers Miami and Chicago.
On the final game day before the All-Star break, the superstars of the league came out and went nuts. You already saw what Embiid and Giannis did, but they were outperformed by Luka Doncic.
🪄 LUKA MAGIC 🪄— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2022
Luka EXPLODED for 49 PTS to power the @dallasmavs to victory in New Orleans. Luka has scored 45+ points in 3 of his last 4 games! #MFFL@luka7doncic: 49 PTS, 15 REB, 8 AST, 7 3PM pic.twitter.com/pWHLvqU7zE
Luka Magic had hung 45 points on the New Orleans Pelicans by the end of the third quarter. He finished with 49 points, 15 rebounds, and eight assists, helping the Dallas Mavericks climb to fifth in the Western Conference with a 35-24 record.
What he said
Kevin Durant’s Twitter game is the same as his on-court game: deadly. But earlier today, Durant used his Twitter fingers to show some love for DeMar DeRozan, who broke a Wilt Chamberlain record of scoring 35+ points on better than 50 percent shooting for seven consecutive games.
Thank you for setting a great example and playing the game with supreme skill @DeMar_DeRozan— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) February 17, 2022
Did you see that?
If you didn’t know who David Duke was before, you know him now.
🤯 David Duke rises up and RIPS IT DOWN!— NBA (@NBA) February 18, 2022
Watch Now on NBA League Pass: https://t.co/oz9UCQxdQa pic.twitter.com/oOsweiUbZ6