Tune-In Tidbits: TNT Tuesday, May 11, 2021
Get ready for Tuesday's TNT doubleheader with five key stats to know about each matchup.
Brian Martin, for NBA.com
Heat (37-31) at Celtics (35-33)
• The Heat and Celtics have split their first two meetings of the season, with Miami picking up a 130-124 win on May 9 thanks to a dominant first half as the Heat led 79-53 at the break. Jimmy Butler (26 points, 11 assists), Duncan Robinson (22) and Bam Adebayo (20) combined for 68 points as the Heat shot 57.3% from the field (matching a season high) and posted their highest true shooting percentage of the season (70.9%).
• Evan Fournier had his best game as a Celtic in the loss as he finished with a game-high 30 points on 11-for-16 shooting from the field and 7-for-11 on 3-pointers. In his first 12 games with Boston prior to Sunday, Fournier averaged 10.4 points on 42.7% shooting.
• The Celtics announced on Monday that Jaylen Brown will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ligament in his wrist. In his fifth season, the All-Star forward averaged 24.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.2 spg, 2.8 3-pointers and 58.6% true shooting — career highs in every category except rebounding. In two games against Miami, Brown averaged 21 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks per game.
• Butler leads all players with 2.1 steals per game. If he maintains his lead (T.J. McConnell is second at 1.8 spg), Butler would lead the league for the first time in his career after finishing in the top five four times in the past seven seasons.
Knicks (38-30) at Lakers (38-30)
• Julius Randle (23.9 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 5.9 apg) is one of three players averaging at least 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists this season. He is joined by two-time reigning Kia Most Valuable Player Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kia MVP Ladder leader Nikola Jokic.
• LeBron James is reportedly targeting this game to return to the Lakers’ lineup. After missing 20 games, LeBron returned to the court on April 30, but appeared in only two games before having to return to the sideline with soreness in the injured ankle. The Lakers are 28-15 this season when LeBron plays and 10-15 when he’s out.
• After converting an and-one alley-oop dunk to put a bow on the Lakers’ 123-110 win over Phoenix on Sunday, Anthony Davis let out a scream and yelled “I’m back!” Davis finished with a season-high 42 points to go with 12 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks in 41 minutes. In his past two games, Davis has averaged 39 points, 12 rebounds and five assists while shooting 50% from the field. That is a drastic improvement from his 16 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.5 apg and 39.4% shooting over his first eight games after missing two month (30 games) with a calf injury.
• Currently sitting No. 4 in the East — 1/2 game up on Atlanta and one game up on Miami — the Knicks are in position to not only end a seven-year playoff drought, but also earn home-court advantage in the first round. This is not only the final game of a six-game road trip for the Knicks, but their final regular season game on the road as they close the season with three straight at Madison Square Garden. The Knicks have gone 3-2 so far on this road trip, including a 112-106 win at Staples Center — against the Clippers — on Sunday.
• The Knicks defeated a short-handed Lakers squad (no LeBron or Davis) 111-96 on April 12 in New York. Randle led all players with 34 points, while also grabbing 10 rebounds. It was Randle’s sixth 30-10 game in 67 games played this season; he had 12 30-10 games over his first six seasons combined (375 games played).