Herro scores 37 as Heat hold off Celtics for 3-1 lead

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Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro brings the ball downcourt against Boston Celtics guard Jaylen Brown during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena on Sept. 23, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart (36) fouls Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) as they battle for a loose ball during game four of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
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Updated 25 September 2020

Herro scores 37 as Heat hold off Celtics for 3-1 lead

ORLANDO, Florida: Rising star Tyler Herro scored a career high 37 points and Jimmy Butler chipped in 24 as the Miami Heat seized command of their Eastern Conference final series with a 112-109 win on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old rookie Herro made five of 10 threes as Miami took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series in the NBA’s quarantine bubble in Orlando, Florida.
“It is a good win for us. I feel good we are up 3-1 but we still have a lot of work to do,” Herro said. “We put a lot of effort into preparing for game four and we got it done.”
Herro’s point total is the second most in a playoff game for a player 20 or younger, behind only Magic Johnson who had 42.
The win moved them to within one victory of an NBA finals berth which they will try to secure in game five on Friday.
“Not too many people get an opportunity to make it this far in the playoffs and be in a game like this, but for him it’s another day in the office,” said Butler of Herro. “He’s just going to keep playing basketball the right way.”
Goran Dragic had 22 points, and Bam Adebayo added 20 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, who rebounded from just their second loss of the postseason in game three.
Jayson Tatum scored a team high 28 points, all coming in the second half, and Jaylen Brown had 21 for Boston, who were looking to win consecutive playoff games for the first time since the start of their second-round series against the Toronto Raptors.
Kemba Walker scored 20, Gordon Hayward 14 and Marcus Smart had 10 points and 11 assists.
The Celtics turned the ball over 19 times in the game.
“We’ve got to do a better job of handling the ball and taking care of it,” said coach Brad Stevens.
Miami went on a 10-4 run at the end of the first half after Hayward hit a pair of free throws to tie the score 40-40 with 3:38 left in the second.
“Just trying to get a rhythm going early,” said Herro. “Once you see a couple shots go down, the rest of the game is easier for you. Tonight was definitely a good night.”
Herro nailed a three pointer with just over four minutes left in the fourth quarter to give Miami a 98-90 lead.
Brown made a three pointer and Smart dropped in a layup to get the Celtics within three, but Dragic and Butler each made baskets to pad Miami’s lead.
Dragic responded from beyond the arc and Herro added a layup to put Miami up by nine with 56 seconds left in regulation.
Boston got within three again on a Brown three-pointer with 16 seconds to go, but free throws by Herro and Butler sealed the victory.


Real Madrid aim to put crisis behind them

Updated 31 October 2020

Real Madrid aim to put crisis behind them

MADRID:  Real Madrid will be hoping to leave their sticky patch behind them when they play Huesca in La Liga on Saturday, with an early six-point lead to preserve over Barcelona.

The resignation of Barca’s club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has overshadowed what has been a dramatic week for Madrid, who barely salvaged a 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Trailing 2-0 with three minutes left, Madrid were facing a defeat that would have squandered the momentum gained from last weekend’s Clasico win at Camp Nou.

A late double from Karim Benzema and Casemiro ensured Zinedine Zidane’s side snatched a draw that felt like a win but to consolidate that positivity, they cannot afford another slip this weekend.

“The team is what it has shown, it’s about a reaction,” said Zidane. “The first half was very good, we played well. The pity is we conceded the first goal, but we continued to think it was possible, even at 2-0.

“That showed the character of the team and I’m very proud of them. We are not happy because we want to win, but we must be happy with the performance.”

Madrid play a Huesca side that is yet to win this season, as they followed four consecutive draws with a 4-1 loss away at league leaders Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Zidane could also hand Eden Hazard his first start since August, after the Belgian came off the bench in midweek.

That was Hazard’s first appearance of the season as he tries to overcome his latest injury setback, which the club have only described as a muscle injury.

“It’s good. I’m here to play football,” said Hazard on Wednesday. “After two or three months off the pitch, I’m so happy. I just want to play football, that’s why I’m here.”

On the last-gasp draw in Germany, Hazard said: “We showed great character, to be 2-0 down with five minutes to play, I think we could have scored one more, I could have scored one more, but I missed. It’s not three points but it feels like a victory.”

Zidane was determined to give Hazard time to recover fully and he believes the club will have to be cautious.

“He’s just started playing. It is his first game after a long time away,” said Zidane. “The plan was for him to try to play but little by little is what we have to do.”

A Madrid victory against Huesca could send them back to the top of the table, above Real Sociedad who are the only team to have retained top spot in consecutive rounds so far this term.

Real Sociedad play away at Celta Vigo on Sunday, just before third-placed Granada host Levante and struggling Valencia play at home to Getafe.

If Atletico Madrid win their two games in hand they will go top, with Diego Simeone’s side away at Osasuna on Saturday.

Barcelona, who beat Juventus on Wednesday, also have two games in hand but are seven points off the lead. Their new era without Bartomeu begins in La Liga away at Alaves on Saturday night.