Finally: The preseason winds down, and regular season awaits

·3 min read

MIAMI (AP) — Let the (real) games begin.

The NBA preseason finales were Friday night, the end of a two-week slate of exhibitions featuring more than 500 players — from 18-year-old Josh Primo in San Antonio, to 41-year-old Udonis Haslem in Miami — and some relatively unusual events.

— A game in Memphis between the Grizzlies and Milwaukee was stopped after three quarters because a fire alarm went off and sprinklers came on.

— The Golden State Warriors attempted 69 shots from 3-point range in one game, a preseason record and what would have been one shy of the NBA’s single-game mark.

— The Dallas Mavericks led the Charlotte Hornets by 70 points earlier this week, on the same night that Phoenix’s 45-point lead over Portland seemed tiny by comparison.

— The Los Angeles Lakers went 0-6, the worst preseason record by any team since the Mavericks went 0-7 in 2015. It didn’t matter much that season; Dallas made the playoffs, and nobody would reasonably expect that a winless slate of exhibitions means anything to the Lakers’ chances.

“You don’t want to go winless,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “You want to get a couple wins along the way, just to feel what that’s like. That’s the name of the game. We’re here to win basketball games. But at the end of the day, it’s really about the practice work that we’re putting in. These are practice games where you’re working on things and building rhythm and timing.”

Most of those anomalies, if not all of them, will be forgotten soon enough. They all happened, but none of them count.

Rosters will be finalized over the next few days, a process that has already started with teams in some cases waiving players with the hope of getting them to their G League affiliate. There are no games on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, and then the Bucks get their rings from Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday night before opening the regular season in Milwaukee against the Brooklyn Nets.

HEAT 121, CELTICS 100

Tyler Herro scored 29 points in 23 minutes and Miami finished off a 5-1 preseason.

Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, Bam Adebayo scored 17, Markieff Morris had 11 and Max Strus finished with 10 for Miami, which trailed by 12 points in the first half. Herro averaged 22.4 points in five preseason appearances; the Heat went 5-0 in those games.

Jayson Tatum led Boston (2-2) with 23 points. Romeo Langford added 18 on 7-of-9 shooting, Dennis Schroder had 13 and former Heat guard Josh Richardson finished with 12 for the Celtics — who were without, among others, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Marcus Smart.

CAVALIERS 110, PACERS 94

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cedi Osman scored 14 points, Mitch Ballock and Dean Wade each scored 12 and Cleveland beat Indiana despite none of its starters scoring more than five points in limited minutes.

Kevin Love finished with 10 for Cleveland (2-3).

Goga Bitadze scored 18 for Indiana (2-2), and Isaiah Jackson added 12. Domatas Sabonis and Myles Turner each scored 10.

PISTONS 112, 76ERS 108

DETROIT (AP) — Jerami Grant scored 24 points and Detroit (2-2) finished with six players in double figures.

Isaiah Stewart scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Pistons. Josh Jackson finished with 14 points, Frank Jackson scored 13, Saben Lee had 11 and Kelly Olynyk had 10.

Andre Drummond led Philadelphia (2-2) with 17 points. Tyrese Maxey scored 16, Paul Reed had 15 and Isaiah Joe added 14 for the 76ers, who sat Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons did not play.

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The Associated Press

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