The Miami Heat advance to the second round of the NBA playoffs. Two stars are missing, but the team shows a strong performance. The Grizzlies win thanks to Ja Morant.
In the fourth win in the fifth game against the Atlanta Hawks, the team from Florida prevailed with 97:94 – and that despite the fact that with Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler two stars of the team are missing due to injury.
Two players who are otherwise rarely in the limelight emerged as key contributors to the team’s overall strong performance. Victor Oladipo, who in the last four years could only play a third of the possible games due to various injuries, and Max Strus, who came to the NBA undrafted and had hardly been used so far.
Oladipo scored 23 points and was his team’s best scorer. Strus added 15 points. Centre Bam Adebayo also scored 20 points.
De’Andre Hunter was the top scorer on the other side with 35 points. Trae Young had another difficult evening in the series and scored only eleven points.
Morant decides thriller for Memphis
Meanwhile, the spectators experienced a real thriller in game five in the duel between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Grizzlies won 111-109 and now have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The spectacular game-winner came from Ja Morant, who scored a layup with one second left to win the game. The superstar scored a total of 30 points (top scorer!).
Especially in the crunch time, Morant turned up the heat in a duel that kept coming to a head, scoring 18 points in the last quarter – and thus making up for an interim 13-point deficit of his team.
The co-favourites Phoenix Suns, meanwhile, took an important step towards the second round in the West. Point guard Chris Paul’s team leads the series 3-2 after a 112-97 home win over the New Orleans Pelicans.