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Miami Heat Struggle With Four Games Left

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The Miami Heat are running out of time in the regular season and their playoff hopes could ride on these last four games. The Heat have been struggling to get the wins they need and they are going in and out of playoff contention as a result.

The Heat have lost two of their last three games and that puts them in a tie with the 7th, 8th, and 9th seeds. The Heat currently are currently holding the 8th and final seed in the eastern conference playoff picture. In their next four games they will have to play perfect basketball in order to get wins.

In their second game of a back-to-back against the Knicks the Heat would fall 98-94. The Knicks had their way in this game with the Heat and free throw shooting had a lot to do with their win. The Knicks shot 94.1% from the free throw line.

Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic would be big factors in this game, but their output would not be enough. Whiteside would have a double-double with 17 points and 16 rebounds.

Dragic would put up 22 points in the game. The Knicks starters did a good job on offense as well. Courtney Lee and Kristaps Porzingis would combine for 42 points.

The Heat would also take on the Denver Nuggets and lose that game 116-113. The loss would be devastating for the Heat and knock them down to the 9th seed in the eastern conference.

Dragic and Whiteside would be the top two performers for the Heat once again, but they did not get enough help from their bench. A couple of Nuggets starters would shine in this game.

Nikola Jokic and Danilo Gallinari would combine for 48 points. The Nuggets had plenty of help from their bench as well. The next game the Heat would play was a must win in order to get back in playoff contention.

The Heat would play against the Charlotte Hornets and win 112-99. This was a big game for the Heat because a loss would have made their playoff journey tougher especially with their upcoming schedule.

Dragic and Whiteside put up big numbers again, but the story of this game was two different starters. James Johnson started at forward for the Heat and scored 26 points.

Josh Richardson would also a big factor in this game. He would score 19 points in his starting role. This win was important for the Heat to gain some momentum going into their last four games.

In the last four games of the regular season the Heat will be playing against the 1,3, and 4 seeds of the eastern conference. Their first game coming up is against the Toronto Raptors.

The next game they will play will be against the Washington Wizards. Then the Cleveland Cavaliers will come into the Heat’s house, and the Wizard will be the last game of their regular season for Miami.

All of these games are important so the Heat will need all of the production they can get from their starters and their bench. If they don’t those three teams could easily beat them and permanently knock them out of the playoff picture.

Blest Eshareturi is a contributor to Sports Rants. Writer for the MLB, NBA, and NFL sections. Teams that are followed are the New York Giants, New York Yankees, and the Miami Heat. New York City native with a passion for sports.

NBA

Eagles’ Jalen Mills Arrested

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Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills was arrested in Washington D.C following an altercation with Washington Wizards player Devin Robinson, according to the Associated Press’ Howard Fendrich (via the Washington Post).

Both men were charged with disorderly affray, which is described as fighting in a public place.

According to the Washington Post’s Candace Buckner, a verbal altercation broke out between the two that escalated into a physical fight that took place on the sidewalk.

Robinson was transported to a hospital following the fight with Mills and upon his release he was taken to to department’s 2nd District station where Mills was detained.

Mills and Robinson were “involved in a verbal altercation which escalated into a physical altercation on the sidewalk adjacent to the Opera Night Club” in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to the police report.

Both teams have since responded, with the Wizards essentially parting ways with Robinson due to the incident.

“We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season,” the Wizards said in a statement.

The Eagles issued a statement saying that they are “aware of the situation” and “continuing to gather more information.”

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Dallas Mavericks

Mavs’ Kristaps Porzingis Accused of Rape in New York

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Dallas Mavericks big man and former New York Knick Kristaps Porzingis is being investigated back New York for an alleged rape that a woman told police took place sometime last year, according to the New York Post.

The woman, who informed police about the alleged rape on Thursday, says that she waited more than a year to come forward regarding the incident because she had discussed receiving $68,000 from Porzingis to keep quiet.

Roland G. Riopelle, the attorney for Porzingis, has since denied the allegations and has said they had previously referred the case to federal authorities due to the “accuser’s extortionate demands.”

“We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations,” Riopelle said. “We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser’s extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association.”

The woman alleges that the incident took place on February 7th, 2018, at the Sky building in New York, where Porzingis lived, just hours following Porzingis suffering a torn ACL, the injury that has kept him off the court for more than a year.

An NBA spokesman said the league is aware of the situation while the Knicks’ team spokesperson said; “This is Kristaps’ personal matter and not related to the Knicks.” Mavericks owner Mark Cuban stated that the team is aware of the situation but “we have been instructed by federal authorities not to comment.”

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Knicks had informed the Mavericks of the pending Porzingis rape allegations during a trade call with NBA headquarters, that took place on January 31st,  that finalized the deal that sent Porzingis to the Mavericks.

A spokesman for the New York Police Department issued the following: “The NYPD takes sexual assault and all rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors.”

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Golden State Warriors

Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins Says Fans Have Called Him ‘N—-r’, Says He’s Reported it to League

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Golden State Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins is speaking out about how NBA fans treat players, revealing that fans have called him the N-word during games and stating that he had reported the incidents to the league.

Cousins discussed the incidents during an interview with Chris Haynes on the ‘Posted Up’ podcast:

“Oh, I’ve been called n—-r, and it’s crazy because this has happened to me on a few occasions. I reported it to the league, and, you know, I may have said whatever I said back, and I was still punished for it. But obviously it became a bigger issue when it was Russ [Westbrook] and he was still fined for it. I don’t really understand it. We’re the product. We push this league. So, I don’t understand. When does our safety, when does, it become important?”

While Cousins spoke candidly about his experiences, he did not specific which cities in which he heard the racial slurs.

“I don’t really want to, because I’m not really trying to put a label on an entire fan base” Cousins said when discussing which cities he heard the slurs. T”here are ignorant individuals in every city. I’ll just put it like that. [NBA] tells you to ignore it, or whatever the case may be. But how many times am I supposed to ignore that? Me coming from where I come from [Mobile, Alabama]. They lucky all they got was a response.”

While Cousins did not mention any cities or teams, Haynes reported that one city was Sacramento, where Cousins spent the majority of his career playing for the Kings.

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