MIAMI, Fla. — Only one thing went wrong for the Miami Heat on Thursday night. Udonis Haslem voted no.
The rest went as well as anyone could have expected.
Tyler Herro scored 27 points in 24 minutes off the bench, Jimmy Butler added 21 and the Miami Heat opened their season with an easy 137-95 victory over the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night.
“I mean, 137’s a lot,” Herro said. “Hopefully, we can see that a lot this season.”
Bam Adebayo had 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Heat, who set team records for opening night scoring and opening night margin of victory. It was nearly the biggest margin of victory in any game — falling just short of a 43-point win over the Los Angeles Clippers in 1994.
The previous team record for points in an opener was 128 points against Detroit in 1999, and the biggest margin of victory was 26 points over Orlando in 2000. The only event that left Heat fans wanting more was when Haslem, now in his 19th season, politely declined cries from the crowd — and even some on his own bench — and didn’t check into the game in the final moments.
“That was just great, hearing everybody chanting his name,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He doesn’t need to go in there. That was just all love.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 15 points and Grayson Allen added 14 for Milwaukee. Olympic gold medalist Khris Middleton had 10 points on 4-for-14 shooting for the Bucks, who were without, among others, Jrue Holiday (right heel), Brook Lopez (back) and Bobby Portis (left hamstring).
Miami outrebounded Milwaukee 58-38.
“We’ll get some of the guys back and every team is going to deal with this at different points, most likely,” Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s a long journey and we’re just getting started.”
P.J. Tucker started his Miami debut, against the team that he helped win an NBA title a few months ago, and had eight points and six rebounds.
Tucker committed Miami’s first foul of the game, a reintroduction to Antetokounmpo just 38 seconds after tip-off. And in the second quarter, Tucker chased down a loose ball and went airborne — crashing into the Milwaukee bench and ending up saying hello to occupants of some of the most expensive seats in the sold-out arena.
The outcome was never in doubt. A 19-0 run in the opening minutes gave the Heat a 22-3 lead out of the gate, Herro beat the first-quarter buzzer with a 35-footer that gave Miami a 40-17 edge, one that was up to 72-43 by halftime.
“We kept locking in,” Adebayo said.
Over a nine-minute stretch of the opening quarter, Milwaukee missed 13 consecutive shots and had four turnovers in that span as well. The Bucks were within 53-38 with 3:35 left in the half — and Miami then scored the game’s next 14 points.
Herro’s 27 points off the bench matched a Heat record for any reserve playing 25 minutes or less. Goran Dragic had 27 points in 20 minutes against Golden State on Feb. 27, 2019; Dwyane Wade had 27 points in 25 minutes against Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2018.
“We got our butts kicked,” Budenholzer said. “That happens in the NBA.”
Bucks: Milwaukee took its starters out with 5:01 left in the third quarter, except for Antetokounmpo, who came out 13 seconds later and Miami leading by 33. Allen and George Hill returned briefly, but the likes of Antetokounmpo and Middleton got an early end to their evening.
Heat: Miami improved to 19-15 in season openers. … Kyle Lowry rolled an ankle in the second quarter and was back within a few minutes of his Miami debut. He had five points and six assists on 1 for 8 shooting.
The Heat and Bucks have played eight times since the start of last season, including Milwaukee’s 4-0 first-round sweep. Half have been routs: the Bucks won games by 29, 34 and 37 last season, and the Heat won by 42 on Thursday.
“Last year, we felt like we got embarrassed,” Herro said.
The Heat held a pregame moment of silence in memory of Johnnie Haslem, the Heat captain’s father. The elder Haslem — a standout high school, college and semi-pro player — died this summer at the age of 70.
Bucks: Visit San Antonio on Saturday.
Heat: Visit Indiana on Saturday.
Atlanta Braves look to clinch National League pennant, first World Series appearance since 1999 with victory over Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56, second in the NL West) vs. Atlanta Braves (88-73, first in the NL East)
Atlanta, Georgia; Saturday, 8:08 p.m. EDT
PITCHING PROBABLES: Dodgers: TBD Braves: Ian Anderson (1-0, 3.58 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 124 strikeouts this postseason)
NLCS: Atlanta leads the series 3-2
BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta will look to clinch a series win with a victory over Los Angeles in Game 6 of the NLCS.
The Braves were 42-38 on their home turf in 2021. Atlanta has a team batting average of .247 this postseason, Eddie Rosario has led them with an average of .471, including four extra base hits and eight RBI.
The Dodgers posted a record of 48-33 away from home in 2021. Los Angeles has a team slugging percentage of .404 this postseason, Chris Taylor leads them with a mark of .818, including seven extra base hits and 12 RBI.
The Dodgers won the last meeting 11-2. Evan Phillips earned his first victory this postseason and Chris Taylor went 4-for-5 with three home runs and six RBI for Los Angeles. Max Fried took his first loss of the postseason for Atlanta.
TOP PERFORMERS: Freddie Freeman leads the Braves with 179 hits and has 83 RBI.
Trea Turner leads the Dodgers with 65 extra base hits and is batting .328.
DURING THE PLAYOFFS: Braves: .247 batting average, 3.58 ERA, outscored opponents by five runs
Dodgers: .252 batting average, 3.06 ERA, outscored opponents by 11 runs
INJURIES: Braves: Josh Tomlin: (neck), Mike Soroka: (achilles), Grant Dayton: (shoulder), Tucker Davidson: (forearm), Marcell Ozuna: (hand), Ronald Acuna Jr.: (knee).
Dodgers: Jimmie Sherfy: (elbow), Jimmy Nelson: (elbow), Dustin May: (elbow), Clayton Kershaw: (forearm), Tommy Kahnle: (elbow), Cole Hamels: (arm), Caleb Ferguson: (elbow), Danny Duffy: (forearm), Garrett Cleavinger: (oblique), Scott Alexander: (shoulder), Edwin Rios: (shoulder), Sheldon Neuse: (undisclosed), Max Muncy: (elbow).
Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke’s words help fuel NC State, Canes confident Wolfpack ‘can’t hang’ with them
University of Miami quarterback Tyler Van Dyke said this week without hesitation that he must get off to a faster start for the Hurricanes to win, his first opportunity coming at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at home against 18th-ranked NC State.
“It’s on me,’’ Van Dyke said. “I just have to get more comfortable in the beginning of the game. I’m capable of doing everything out there. I just gotta get the ball and let it rip.
Don’t think. Don’t aim. Just let it rip. …It’s totally on me.”
Read more from the Miami Herald.
García, Alvarez help Houston Astros oust Boston Red Sox, reach World Series
HOUSTON, Tex. — Rookie Luis García showed the poise of an October ace, MVP Yordan Alvarez stayed hot at the plate and the Houston Astros earned yet another trip to the World Series, beating the Boston Red Sox 5-0 Friday night in Game 6 of the AL Championship Series.
The Astros advanced to the World Series for the third time in five seasons. They won the championship in 2017, a crown tainted by the team’s sign-stealing scandal, before losing to the Washington Nationals in seven games in 2019.
Manager Dusty Baker’s team will open the World Series on Tuesday night, either at Dodger Stadium or home against Atlanta. The Braves lead Los Angeles 3-2 in the NL Championship Series going into Game 6 Saturday night.
“There’s four more wins on the board out there,” the 72-year-old Baker said. “There’s four more wins you’ve got to get.”
García pitched no-hit ball into the sixth inning, leaving to a huge ovation with two outs after a triple by Kiké Hernández. It was an impressive bounce-back performance for the 24-year-old, who started Game 2 and gave up a grand slam in the first inning before leaving with no outs in the second because of discomfort in his right knee.
Alvarez continued his scorching streak, a year after watching at home after surgery to both knees as the Astros came one game shy of reaching the World Series. The slugging designated hitter had four hits, including a triple and two doubles. He led a Game 5 win with three hits and three RBIs.
Álvarez hit an ALCS-record .522 (12 for 23) with one homer, three doubles, the triple and six RBIs in Houston’s six-game victory. He got nine hits in his last 13 at-bats.
Catcher Martín Maldonado made the defensive play of the game on a strikeout-throwout double play to end the seventh with Houston ahead 2-0.
It will be Baker’s second trip to the Fall Classic as a manager and first since leading the San Francisco Giants to the NL pennant in 2002. As a player, he made three trips with the Dodgers, winning it all in 1981.
“Hey, I’m going back to the World Series!” Baker told a cheering crowd at Minute Maid Park.
For Houston, it was a team victory featuring all facets of the game it used in taking the AL West title. The Astros won, too, without a hit from stars Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa — Alex Bregman got two hits and scored a run.
Boston’s best shot to score came in the seventh. The wild-card Red Sox had runners at first and third with one out in after a single by Alex Verdugo. But Kendall Graveman struck out pinch-hitter Travis Shaw and Maldonado made a perfect throw to Correa, who was covering second, to beat Verdugo there and end the inning.
Maldonado beat his chest with glee as Graveman and Correa both pumped their fists in celebration to roars from the crowd of 42,718.
Kyle Tucker broke it open with a three-run homer with two outs in the eighth. Television cameras flashed to Houston’s Hall of Fame duo of Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell, who stood together and cheered as Tucker rounded the bases.
Ryan Pressly closed it out in the ninth. The Red Sox, who looked so formidable at the plate at the start of the season, were held to two hits in their final game.
Bregman singled with two outs in the first before the double by Alvarez put the Astros up 1-0. Hernández was in position to make the catch, but it hit off his arm below his glove and dropped in for the hit.
Consecutive romps by Boston and its bashers made it appear that the Red Sox were in complete control of the series after Game 3, but as the long fly by Alvarez proved, they didn’t have a firm grip on things.
The Astros, buoyed by their young pitchers and rediscovered offense, won the next two games by a combined 18-3 to return home a win away from a World Series.
Framber Valdez pitched the Astros to a Game 5 win at Fenway Park, then their 24-year-old rising stars, García and Alvarez, did the rest.
Houston had a chance to add to the lead in the fourth when Bregman singled and another double by Alvarez left him at third with no outs. But they came up empty after Nathan Eovaldi worked out of the jam.
Alvarez tripled with no outs in the sixth to chase Josh Taylor and Tanner Houck plunked Correa. Tucker then smacked a grounder right at first baseman Kyle Schwarber who tagged Correa for the unassisted double play as Alvarez slid safely into home to make it 2-0.
Eovaldi got the win in a solid Game 2 start but was charged with the loss in Game 4 after giving up the go-ahead runs after coming in with the game tied in the ninth.
On Friday, he permitted five hits and one run as the Red Sox lost a playoff game where he started for the first time after entering the game 5-0 in his starts.
García is the first pitcher to take a no-hitter into sixth of a potential playoff clincher since the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard got two outs in sixth against the Giants in 2016 NL wild-card game.
García allowed Schwarber to reach on a wild pitch after a strikeout to open the game and walked Verdugo with one out in the second. He settled in after that, sitting down the next 13 with five strikeouts, before Hernández got Boston’s first hit on a triple with two outs in the sixth. García finished with seven strikeouts.
Phil Maton took over and retired Rafael Devers to end the inning.
SIGN OF THE TIMES
Boston manager Alex Cora has heard the speculation that the Astros are relaying signs from the bases and said the Red Sox protect themselves against that.
“It’s not about technology or other stuff,” Cora said. “There’s stuff that happens on the field that you have to be guarded. The same way that teams play defense against us, we play defense against other teams. Not only them we did it against the Yankees, we did it against the Rays. It’s the nature of the game. We’re prepared for that.”
Cora knows better than most about Houston’s sign-stealing history having been the team’s bench coach during the 2017 season when they were found to have violated rules by using a television camera to steal catchers’ signs.
The Astros will make their fourth World Series appearance. They lost in their first try, swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
Game 1 of the World Series is Tuesday night where the Astros will host if the Braves advance or Houston will travel to LA if the Dodgers win the NL pennant.