The seventh-ranked Miami Heat faced the eighth-ranked Atlanta Hawks and were considered the favorites to win. The Heat was the better club going into the game, and the side poised to take care of business.
Yet, as soon as the game started, the Hawks began to get into it. Atlanta completely dominated Miami in rebounding, outrebounding Miami 63 to 39.
The victory advanced the Hawks to the seventh and final slot in the playoffs, where they will face a battle against the Boston Celtics in the first round. The Heat will get another opportunity to make the playoffs, and the game outcome between the Toronto Raptors and the Chicago Bulls will determine their opponent.
Los Angeles was the team that could advance and claim the first play-in position for the Western Conference. They didn’t make it easy for them; the Timberwolves did. The Wolves maintained an 11-point lead going into the locker room, but Dennis Schroder (21 points) got up and made a run for himself in the second half of the game.
After Schroder scored the shot that put his team ahead in the final seconds of regulation, the game went into overtime because Anthony Davis committed a foul on Mike Conley.
In overtime, LeBron James carried the team to a victory by leading the way with 30 points, ten rebounds, and six assists. That should be a fascinating battle, as the second-seeded Memphis Grizzlies will take on the Los Angeles Lakers.
Let’s talk about some unsung heroes. Dennis Schroder was a pillar of strength for the Los Angeles Lakers when they were in jeopardy of falling out of the playoffs altogether.
The Lakers prevailed over the Timberwolves thanks in large part to the efforts of Schroder, who led all scorers with 18 points in the second half.
If the Heat had been victorious, Kyle Lowry’s 33 points would have been a huge deal. Yet as luck would have it, the Hawks were the only club in this matchup. With 25 points, Trae Young led the way for Atlanta as they clinched seventh place.
Clint Capela was dominant, finishing with 22 rebounds and snatching up every loose ball.