The Miami Heat needed some last second heroics again to beat the San Antonio Spurs last night 105-100. Trailing by seven with less than two minutes left, Miami scored 11 out of the last 13 points of the game to escape with the victory. The Spurs, specifically Coach Gregg Popovich, decided to send home their four top scorers before last night’s game to rest up for Saturday’s home game against NBA-leading Memphis. The Spurs were playing yesterday in their fourth game in five nights, and their eleventh road game in November. NBA commissioner David Stern was furious and said that the Spurs would be punished. Although the final decision on resting players rests solely with the team, the league will probably react to this instance, as this game was nationally televised and the Heat, like most NBA teams, use a dynamic pricing system, meaning that the tickets for the Spurs cost a lot more than games against lower-profile teams.
I understand that a coach has to do what is best for his team, but Poppovich could have certainly rested his core group of players in one of the prior three games, where they beat Orlando, Toronto, and Washington (teams with a combined record of 9-34) by a cumulative total of 52 points. By the way, the Heat have had a stretch this month just as demanding as what the Spurs have faced. Miami played 10 games in 16 days between November 2nd and November 17th, while the Spurs have played 9 games in the last 16 days. Like the saying goes, “to each his own”. Next game for the Heat is tomorrow night at the AAA when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to town. They will then go on a quick trip to Washington DC for a game against the Wizards on Tuesday, and they return home for six straight games, beginning with the Knicks on Thursday, December 6th.
Only one other game in the NBA last night,
Golden State 106 Denver 105
David Lee had 31 points, 9 rebounds, and six assists for the Warriors
TONIGHT IN THE NBA
Phoenix @ Toronto 7:00 pm
Philadelphia @ Charlotte 7:00 pm
Brooklyn @ Orlando 7:00 pm
Portland @ Boston 7:30 pm
Washington @ New York 7:30 pm
Cleveland @ Atlanta 7:30 pm
Detroit @ Memphis 8:00 pm
Utah @ Oklahoma City 8:00 pm
Milwaukee @ Minnesota 8:00 pm
Indiana @ Sacramento 10:00 pm
Denver @ LA Lakers 10:30 pm ESPN
The Yankees and Mariano Rivera reached agreement on a one-year contract that will pay the best closer in the history of the game $10 million, with incentives that could take the figure to $15 million. Well done! Catcher Russell Martin is another story, as he decided to accept a 2-year deal worth $17 million from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Mets and David Wright also agreed on a deal, one that will keep him in New York through at least 2020. The total deal is for just under $140 million, the largest contract in Mets history.
The Washington Nationals obtained center fielder Denard Span in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for minor league pitcher Alex Meyer. This deal means that Bryce Harper will move to a corner outfield spot, probably left field, with Jayson Werth staying in right field. Michael Morse will then end up moving from left field to first base, where free agent Adam LaRoche played last year. Of course, there is still a chance that the Nats decide to sign LaRoche and trade Morse. By the way, Morse grew up in South Florida, and would be a decent choice to come in and play left field or first base here with the Marlins.
The MLB winter meetings start on Monday in Nashville. You can expect to see a lot trade activity during those meetings, as well as decisions on some of the popular names among the free agents, such as Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, Mike Napoli, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Adam LaRoche, Kyle Lohse, and former Marlins Cody Ross and Anibal Sanchez.
TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Mariano Rivera holds the major league record with 608 saves, just ahead of Trevor Hoffman who finished his career with 601. Among active players not named Mariano Rivera, who has the most saves? Tell you later, alligator.
The Miami Dolphins are getting ready to take on the New England Patriots on Sunday at the Seven-Names Stadium, something that is never an easy task. Tom Brady is playing at his usual level, so the Dolphins defense will have their work cut out for them this week. The Pats have won five games in a row, and during those five games, they are averaging 44 points per game. In his last four games here in Miami, he has completed 91-126 passes (72.2%) with an average of 344 yards per game, 13 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. As Fins coach Joe Philbin said, “We’re going to have to play our best game of the year to win.” Game time on Sunday is 1:00 pm, and it will be televised by Channel 4, CBS, here in Miami.
Last night, the Atlanta Falcons improved their record to 11-1 with a 23-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints. The Falcon defense intercepted Drew Brees five times and ended his NFL-record streak of 54 consecutive games with a touchdown pass.
The rest of this week’s games in the NFL:
New England @ Miami
Mia +9 1:00 pm CBS Channel 4
Jacksonville @ Buffalo
Buf -6 1:00 pm
Seattle @ Chicago
Chi -3.5 1:00 pm
Indianapolis @ Detroit
Det -5 1:00 pm
Minnesota @ Green Bay
GB -9.5 1:00 pm
Houston @ Tennessee
Ten +6 1:00 pm
Carolina @ Kansas City
KC +3 1:00 pm
San Francisco @ St. Louis
StL +7 1:00 pm
Arizona @ New York Jets
NYJ -4.5 1:00 pm
Tampa Bay @ Denver
Den -8 4:05 pm
Pittsburgh @ Baltimore
Bal -3 4:25 pm
Cleveland @ Oakland
Oak -1.5 4:25 pm
Cincinnati @ San Diego
SD +1 4:25 pm
Philadelphia @ Dallas
Dal -10.5 8:20 pm NBC Channel 6
New York Giants @ Washington
Was +1 8:30 pm ESPN
Key games this week in college football:
#21 N. Illinois @ #17 Kent State 7:00 pm ESPN2
#16 UCLA @ #8 Stanford 8:00 pm FOX Ch 7
Central Florida @ Tulsa 12:00 pm ESPN2
Conference USA Championship
#11 Oklahoma @ TCU 12:00 pm ESPN
Middle Tennessee @ Arkansas State 3:00 pm ESPN3
Determines the Sun Belt Champion
#2 Alabama @ #3 Georgia 4:00 pm CBS Ch 4
#18 Texas @ #6 Kansas State 8:00 pm ABC Ch 10
#12 Nebraska @ Wisconsin 8:00 pm FOX Ch 7
Big 10 Championship
#13 Florida State @ Ga. Tech 8:00 pm ESPN
THE ANSWER TO TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION: Mariano Rivera holds the major league record with 608 saves, just ahead of Trevor Hoffman who finished his career with 601. Among active players not named Mariano Rivera, who has the most saves? Francisco Cordero, who comes in at 329 saves. Jason Isringhausen has 300, Joe Nathan is at 298, and Francisco Rodriguez has 294 saves.
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