The Rundown: Hornets, Pacers, Heat pull off upsets

Published January 9, 2022, 1:00 PMMiguel Flores

The Hornets turned back the defending champs Milwaukee Bucks, while the Pacers and Heat took care of business against the Jazz and Suns, respectively.


Grizzlies 123, Clippers 108

Hornets 114, Bucks 106

Pistons 97, Magic 95

Pacers 125, Jazz 113

Celtics 99, Knicks 75

Heat 123, Suns 100

What went down

We got a trio of upsets for Sunday breakfast.

The Charlotte Hornets gave us the appetizer, outlasting the Milwaukee Bucks. Sure, the defending champs didn't have Jrue Holiday due to a sore ankle. But the Hornets did have to contend with a red-hot Giannis Antetokounmpo, who almost single-handedly led a fourth-quarter comeback and finished with 43 points and 12 rebounds.

The Hornets poured on the pressure in the third quarter and early fourth quarter with a resurgent Terry Rozier leading the attack. Rozier, who has struggled to get back into shape due to several prolonged injuries this season, continued to build momentum and finished with 28 points with six 3-pointers.

Our second helping of an upset came with the Indiana Pacers torching the Utah Jazz. This happened mostly due to Domantas Sabonis dominating a Rudy Gobert-less Jazz down low (more on this later), but it was Lance Stephenson that stole the show.

Born Ready, who was signed on a 10-day hardship deal, had another stellar outing off the bench with 16 points, 14 assists, and four steals.

Yes, it’s 2022, and we’re talking about Lance making people dance like it’s 2012. This is the same Stephenson that was playing with PBA players in Hong Kong three years ago and now he’s back in the NBA.

The final serving was whipped up by the Miami Heat, who blasted the Phoenix Suns in their own arena. This Miami team continues to find ways as they played without Jimmy Butler, who was resting his back, and Bam Adebayo.

The Heat did their damage on defense, holding the Suns to 38 percent shooting, while also getting a little luck with their outside shots as they drilled 22 of their 44 3-point attempts. The Suns went 14-of-34 from deep, but some of their 3s came with Miami already up big in the fourth quarter.

Held together by Tyler Herro, Kyle Lowry, and PJ Tucker, this Heat squad looks encouraging now, but hopefully, they get Butler and Adebayo back in top shape to make a dent in the loaded Eastern Conference.

Big-time baller

Domantas Sabonis was actually too big for a Jazz lineup without Rudy Gobert. The second-generation All-Star put up a career-high 42 points on 18-for-22 shooting with six boards and three assists.

The Pacers have been excruciatingly inconsistent and unlucky this season, so hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come.

What he said

Klay Thompson is coming back tomorrow and he’s ready to address the slander he’s received over the last couple of weeks.

There are people calling his contract one of the worst in the league. There have been skeptics of what his true impact could be. Klay’s just glad he finally has a chance to shut people up tomorrow.

"I know myself. I know how good I am. I know the things I've done. It's like, how many times do I have to do something that no one else has ever done before and get respect? Do I have to go score 50 in a quarter now? Like, what the hell? It's whatever though, man. It's over with. I'm going to use it as fuel,” Thompson told the media.

Did you see that?

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