Miami Heat

Fourth loss in a row for the Miami Heat, who gave up the lead of the Eastern Conference on Saturday night, following a day marked by a fire in Toronto.

The Memphis Grizzlies beat the Milwaukee Bucks 127-102, and the Nets dominated the Heat, who lost first place in the NBA East, 110-95 on Saturday in a night marked by the interruption of the game between the Raptors and the Pacers, after a speaker on the ceiling of Scotiabank Arena began to catch fire.

The Raptors-Pacers game finally resumed without the spectators, evacuated in peace, and Toronto easily won 131-91, thanks to Pascal Siakam (23 pts) and Scottie Barnes (19 pts).

The match had been interrupted for just under an hour due to flames emanating from the gate of one of the speakers attached to the ceiling, just a few meters above the highest rows of seats. Fire alarms were then heard.

Due to an equipment problem, firefighters ask each person present to evacuate the building quietly through the nearest stairwell.

There is no threat to public safety,” said the message transmitted on the giant screens of the hall, which can hold 19,800 spectators.

No injuries were reported,” the City of Toronto Police Operations Centre added in a tweet. The Canadian franchise has promised that all tickets will be refunded within 30 days.

She added that work will take place in the room but that it will be ready as early as Sunday for the meeting between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Florida Panthers in the NHL (ice hockey).

In the Eastern Conference standings, it’s a great operation for the Raptors, who take advantage of the Cleveland Cavaliers loss to the Chicago Bulls (94-98), to take sixth place, synonymous with automatic qualification for the playoffs, without going through the play-in.

In the other poster of the evening, the Nets of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving made the show in Miami, winning 110-95 against the Heat, who suffered a fourth straight loss and gave up first place in the Eastern Conference to the Philadelphia Sixers.

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We’re not concerned because we’re panicking, but yes, we need to fix some things,” Kyle Lowry (Heat) said after the game. “This game is one of the ones where you have to say, ‘Well, we have to fix some things.’

It’s disappointing,” said Tyler Herro. At this time of year, we want to play our best (…). We will continue to work and find a solution before the playoffs.” 

Kevin Durant led the game in scoring with 23 points, Seth Curry scored 17 points, and Andre Drummond scored a double-double (13 pts, 11 rbds) to lead the Nets to their seventh win in nine games.

The Grizzlies, without Ja, but with the victory

Kyrie Irving, who can now play every game, including at-home after lifting the vaccination requirement in New York for professional athletes, scored 11 points, provided 6 assists, and grabbed 4 rebounds.

He will make his big return home on Sunday when Brooklyn hosts the Charlotte Hornets.

I’m enjoying this year. I am grateful. It was not a typical year. But when I look at my teammates, and I look at who we are as an organization, … I think about the long term and what we can do, in terms of legacy,” Irving said Saturday before the game, insinuating that he would stay with the Nets with Durant for a long time.

For me, it’s always been about being comfortable and loving where I am. I love being here,” he explained. “Once we’re in the summer, I know we’ll have a few conversations, but there’s no chance I’ll be able to leave the gentleman at number 7,” Kevin Durant’s.

In Memphis, the Grizzlies, even without their star point guard Ja Morant, absent for two weeks, were able to count on their well-oiled collective to dominate the Bucks.

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Four players scored more than 15 points for the Grizzlies: Desmond Bane (20), Dillon Brooks (19), Jaren Jackson Jr. (16), as well as De’Anthony Melton (24) coming off the bench.

Tyus Jones had a double-double with 10 points and 13 assists. For the Bucks, imprecise (7 of 32 to 3 pts), the double-double of the star Giannis Antetokounmpo (30 pts, 11 rbds), and the 16 points of Khris Middleton did nothing.

In the other games of the evening, Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets (35 pts, 12 rbds) defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder (113-107), and the San Antonio Spurs beat the New Orleans Pelicans (103-107).

The latter fell to tenth place in the West, behind LeBron James’ Lakers. On Sunday, the Pelicans host these same Lakers in a close battle for the 9th and 10th place playoffs.

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