UNLIKELY hero Royce O’Neale of the Brooklyn Nets made the game-winning shot to edge out the Miami Heat 102-101 in Florida Monday morning (Manila time).
This comes after their star player Kevin Durant — averaging 30 points a game — limped off the court with a minute left in the third quarter after teammate Ben Simmons landed on his knee blocking a shot from the Heat’s Jimmy Butler.
He didn’t come back and will undergo tests to check the extent of his injury. His absence was a significant loss for the Nets, who are riding a good run-out of games. They’ve won nine out of ten in this stretch averaging 120 points a game since their win at Detroit.
On the other hand, Miami has a .500 record in their last ten games, losing some close ones along the way.
Miami was up by one point with five seconds to play before Kyrie Irving missed a three-pointer that O’Neale rebounded and scored for the game’s winning shot.
Jimmy Butler missed a lay-up that would have won it for Miami in the dying seconds. He finished with 26 points and eight rebounds. Tyler Herro had 24 points for the Heat.
Meanwhile, Kyrie Irving picked up the slack for Durant, scoring 29 points and 6 for 15 beyond the arc, leading four other players in double figures. The game-winner O’Neale registered only eight points, but two were the most important ones.
Durant left the game with 17 points; only time will tell if the Net’s chances to continue their winning ways also went with him. Hopefully, the injury is not severe.
Given that Brooklyn has only begun to find their groove after all the high expectations since Durant and Irving teamed up together. It would be unfortunate if it all went downhill after this setback.
The Nets are facing the number one team in the league Boston in Brooklyn. Who wins will affect standings, as the Nets are just a game behind the Celtics.
Miami will welcome the Oklahoma Thunder next.