Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Thursday, May 13, 2021
Get ready for Thursday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Sixers (47-22) at Heat (38-31)
7:30 p.m. ET, TNT
• The Heat enter Thursday having won three straight and six of their last seven games. During this seven-game run, Miami has averaged 122 points per game – a 15.7 ppg increase from their previous average of 106.3 points per game. Jimmy Butler (six games) and Tyler Herro (three games) share the team lead in scoring at 21 ppg during this stretch, with five other players averaging double figures while appearing in all seven games.
• Philadelphia is looking to sweep Miami to clinch the No. 1 seed in the East tonight. Over the first two games against the Heat, Joel Embiid has averaged 27.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals, while shooting 61.3% from the field. Danny Green has averaged 20.5 ppg (his second-highest average against any team this season), while shooting 13-28 (46.4%) from 3-point range.
• Both teams have top 10 defenses, with the Sixers ranked second by allowing 106.9 points per 100 possessions and Miami 10th with a defensive efficiency of 110.7. Their defenses are led by Defensive Player of the Year contenders and hustle stat stars Ben Simmons (third in deflections) and Bam Adebayo (sixth in screen assists and fifth in screen assist points), respectively.
• The Sixers are a league-best 25-9 (0.735) in clutch games this season, while the Heat rank 11th at 18-16 (0.529). Joel Embiid leads the Sixers in clutch scoring with 97 points (12th in NBA) in 93 minutes (64th). Jimmy Butler leads the Heat with 59 clutch points (35th) in 90 minutes (70th).
• The Sixers lineup of Danny Green, Tobias Harris, Seth Curry, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons has the highest point differential of any five-man lineup in the league, outscoring opponents by 221 points in 620 minutes together on court.
Blazers (41-29) at Suns (48-21)
10 p.m. ET, TNT
• Portland is looking to pick off the No. 2 seed in the West after beating the No. 1 Jazz last night behind Damian Lillard’s 30 points. He has scored at least 30 points in six straight games and seven of his last eight (during which the Trail Blazers went 7-1). He is the fourth player this season to have a streak of five 30+ games or more, joining Stephen Curry twice (11, 7), Bradley Beal twice (6, 5) and Paul George (5). The Blazers are 25-9 this season when Lillard scores at least 30.
• In two games against Phoenix this season, Damian Lillard has averaged a team-high 27 points on 47.5%-31.6%-90.9% shooting splits. Mikal Bridges has been the primary defender on Lillard for 12:35 (the 11th-most time that any player has defended Lillard this season) and held him to 14 points on 6-14 (42.9%) shooting from the field, 2-6 (33.3%) from three and not allowing any free throws.
• In two games against the Blazers this season, Devin Booker is averaging 34.5 points on 63.2% (24-38) shooting from the field, 71.4% from 3-point range (5-7) and a perfect 16-16 from the free throw line. Those represent his top marks in scoring and shooting against any opponent this season in all categories. Booker has 12 games this season in which he’s scored 34 points or more; two of those games have come against Portland.
• The Blazers (24-12) and Suns (23-12) are ranked third and fourth, respectively, in clutch win percentage this season. The Blazers have outscored teams by a league-high 109 points in 132 clutch minutes this season, while the Suns rank eighth in point differential at plus-34 in 152 minutes. Damian Lillard leads all players in clutch scoring with 155 points on 50.6%-40%-96.2% shooting splits, while Chris Paul ranks seventh at 118 points. Lillard and Paul also rank fourth and tied for sixth, respectively, in clutch assists.
• The first two meetings with the Suns came during the two months that CJ McCollum missed with a foot injury. Since McCollum returned to the lineup on March 16, the Blazers have gone 19-13, including a 9-1 mark in their last 10 games. Over the past 10 games, Lillard has led the Blazers at 30.1 ppg, while McCollum has added 22.1 ppg on 48.5% shooting from the field and 43.1% from 3-point range.