Miami Heat

After two straight losses, can the Heat close the regular season on a high note?

Josh Richardson (0) and Tyler Johnson (8) help up Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL, on Monday, April 9, 2018.
Josh Richardson (0) and Tyler Johnson (8) help up Hassan Whiteside (21) during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL, on Monday, April 9, 2018. dvarela@miamiherald.com

Welcome to Bulletin Board, the Miami Herald’s weekday roundup covering everything in the South Florida sports scene. A lot to recap. Let’s get right to it.

Heat halted

The Heat had the game in hand.

A 12-0 run to start the game turned into an 18-point lead midway through the first quarter. The scored stayed in Miami's favor for the first 37 minutes Monday night.

And then the Oklahoma City Thunder clamped down and ran the Heat out of its own house in the fourth quarter. Final score: Oklahoma City 115, Miami 93.

Just how bad was that fourth quarter? The Heat was outscored 39-12 and made just 5 of 20 shots from the field.

Oh, and this happened even though Miami outscored Oklahoma City 58-32 in the paint.

The Heat has now lost two straight games. With one game left to play — a Wednesday-night matchup against the Toronto Raptors — Miami could find itself playing as either the No. 6, 7 or 8 seed when the postseason begins this weekend.

Heading into Tuesday, the Heat sits at No. 7, which pairs Miami with the No. 2 seed Boston Celtics in the first round.

But with another loss to close out the season and a pair of wins by Washington, the Heat's regular-season finale against Toronto on Wednesday could merely be a warm-up for the playoff series against the Raptors that would follow. It would also have the Heat on a three-game losing skid heading into postseason play.

The Heat isn't focusing on that, though.

"We're in the playoffs," Dwyane Wade said. "Whoever we play, we play."

The regular-season finale against Toronto tips off at 8 p.m. from AmericanAirlines Arena.

Draft decisions

The NFL Draft is 16 days away, and the Miami Dolphins are continuing to take a look at top prospects. The most recent names to pop up: Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson and South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert.

Both players fit needs the Dolphins need to address before the start of training camp. Miami's kicker from last season, Cody Parkey, is with the Chicago Bears now after signing a four-year, $15 million contract in free agency. A playmaking tight end would also be beneficial for coach Adam Gase, who has been known to implement the position in the passing game.

Meanwhile, the quest to determine who the Dolphins will take in the first round continues. One such prospect is Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, the son of former Dolphins star Ferrell Edmunds.

Marlins falter

The Marlins' ninth-inning rally came close Monday.

Down two, runners on second and third, one out.

After playing catch up all night, the Marlins finally had a chance to pounce on the Mets.

But there would be no happy ending, no walk-off win.

Instead, Mets closer Jeurys Familia struck out Miguel Rojas swinging and Starlin Castro looking to cap the Marlins' 4-2 defeat. The loss dropped the Marlins to 3-7 on the young season.

Noah Syndergaard, the sixth All-Star starting pitcher the Marlins have faced already this season, earned the win after giving up just one earned run in six innings.

Game 2 of the series is set to start at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Riley revelation

Pat Riley hasn’t said much publicly regarding LeBron James’ departure from the Miami Heat that ended the team’s “Big 3” era.

But in a new book by Ian Thomsen called “The Soul of Basketball: The Epic Showdown between LeBron, Kobe, Doc and Dirk that Saved the NBA,” Riley reveals details about his feelings about James’ decision as well as details of the early days of his union with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.

“While there may have been some carnage always left behind when he made these kinds of moves, in Cleveland and also in Miami, he did the right thing," Riley said. "I just finally came to accept the realization that he and his family said, ‘You’ll never, ever be accepted back in your hometown if you don’t go back to try to win a title. Otherwise someday you’ll go back there and have the scarlet letter on your back. You’ll be the greatest player in the history of mankind, but back there, nobody’s really going to accept you.’”

James left Miami in the summer of 2014 after winning two NBA championships and four consecutive seasons of making the NBA Finals playing alongside Wade and Bosh.

More news and notes

▪ The NBA recognized Dwyane Wade for his efforts to help the Stoneman Douglas community

▪ Hungry for power, the Marlins must wait a little longer to get this home run threat back.

▪ Miami Hurricanes sophomore Bruce Brown hired an agent and will be staying in the NBA draft. Coach Jim Larranaga shared his thoughtson Brown's decision.

▪ A bittersweet ending gave the Florida Panthers a needed lessonheading into next season

▪ The FIU football team is feeling confident about its retooled defense

▪ The Miami Key Largo Regatta is adding something new for its 63rd year.

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