The Rundown: Heat take East top spot, Tatum drops 51

Published January 24, 2022, 3:00 PMMiguel Flores

The Heat climbed to the No. 1 spot in the Eastern Conference after holding off the Lakers. Meanwhile, Jayson Tatum bounced back from a slump and hit nine 3s en route to 51 points.


Knicks 110, Clippers 102

Celtics 116, Wizards 87

Trail Blazers 114, Raptors 105

Magic 114, Bulls 95

Heat 113, Lakers 107

Hawks 113, Hornets 91

76ers 115, Spurs 109

Mavericks 104, Grizzlies 91

Timberwolves 136, Nets 125

Nuggets 117, Pistons  111

Warriors 94, Jazz 92

What went down

The top of the Eastern Conference has been going wild this season and the movements continue to be tectonic.

First, the Miami Heat almost blew a 26-point lead, but had just enough Heat Culture in the final minute to finish off the Los Angeles Lakers. After a LeBron James putback drew the Lakers to within four 111-107 with around one minute to go, the Heat got three straight stops – punctuated by a PJ Tucker-drawn offensive foul – to seal the win.


The Heat (30-17) leapt over the Chicago Bulls (28-17), who lost to the Orlando Magic, and the Brooklyn Nets (29-17), who lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves, for first place in the conference today. The Milwaukee Bucks (30-19), Cleveland Cavaliers (28-19), and the Philadelphia 76ers (27-19) are all at least just 2.5 games away from the top. 

The East has been a roller-coaster all season.

Big time baller

In their three games before today, Jayson Tatum was 0-for-20 on 3-pointers.

Today, Tatum set a career-high, hitting nine 3s en route to 51 points with 10 rebounds and seven assists in the Boston Celtics’ win over the Washington Wizards.

Tatum definitely saw your tweet about his poor shooting this season.

What he said

We have a few juicy ones for you today.

First, for Rockets fans or the most locked-in NBA nerds out there, one of the biggest controversies lately has been the conversation surrounding Garrison Mathews’ jumper. For those who haven't seen it (who could blame you for not knowing the dude the Rockets brought up from the G-League?), Mathews takes quite a leap forward when he shoots, particularly from long distances.

Many have pointed out how dangerous or unfair his shot mechanics could be, in lieu of the NBA’s strict landing spot rule that aims to protect shooters from dirty closeouts. Mathews has responded today via The Houston Chronicle. It looks like Mathews isn’t taking the criticism lightly, especially from Twitter-folk.

“I saw some tweet today about somebody getting upset about how far I jump forward on my shot. That’s how I shot my whole life. If somebody goes out there and shoots a 30-footer, they’re going to jump forward. It’s hard to get it there. I don’t know. I don’t change the way I shoot. I definitely don’t try to jump into people or jump forward like that. It’s the way it comes out, I guess,” Mathews said.

For Knicks fans, you finally got an answer – albeit a vague one – as to why Julius Randle hasn't talked to the media amid the Knicks’ recent skid. Randle was finally “allowed” to go to media availability after the Knicks’ win over the Los Angeles Clippers.

On this day

Close your eyes, Kings fans.

Seven years ago, Klay Thompson’s first moment of greatness came when he set the record for most points in a quarter, hanging 37 points on the Kings in the third period.

This was pre-championship Golden State. No one knew just how dominant Klay and the rest of the Warriors were going to be.

Did you see that?

If you’ve forgotten about Jalen Suggs, he just leapt back into the spotlight with what could be the Dunk of the Year or at least Dunk of DeMar DeRozan’s nightmares.

For a more quirky highlight, this trick inbound play will never get old. 

For a Showtime remix, LaMelo Ball has no business being this fun to watch.

Finally, there’s nothing like a bit of Luka Magic. We’ve seen the most spectacular dunks, shots, and passes in the NBA. It’s rare we get something that we’ve truly never seen before.