HEAT Take On Jazz In Last Game Before The Break

Jimmy Butler
Photo Credit: Noah Graham
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

While the All-Star Break is right around the corner, the HEAT have some business to take care of in Utah.

Before we get into the Jazz, let’s quickly recap Miami’s bounce-back victory over Golden State on Monday.

Thanks to some superb ball movement (36 assists on 43 made field goals) and stout defense (held the Warriors to just 39 percent shooting), the HEAT were able to survive a scare in the third and pull away late.

In total, six guys scored in double-figures, with Jimmy Butler and Jae Crowder leading the way with 21 points apiece. The former teammates at Marquette did it a little differently, though, as Butler bullied his way to the basket, while Crowder continued his barrage from deep. Still, the most encouraging sign was that Butler showed no ill effects from his prior right shoulder strain.

Naturally, both Butler and Crowder will be needed against a tough Utah squad that’s won three straight. During that span, Jordan Clarkson has been quite good with 22.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game on 57.1 percent shooting from the field, including 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Then again, we also can’t forget about Donovan Mitchell, Bojan Bogdanović (who hit a game-winning three against the Rockets on Sunday), Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles. The latter two had very strong performances versus Miami in their last meeting on Dec. 23.

And although the Jazz clearly have some offensive firepower, they’ve struggled defensively the past two weeks. In fact, Utah has given up 116.8 points per 100 possessions over its last eight.

We’ll see if the HEAT can take advantage on Wednesday at 9PM.

INJURY/STATUS REPORT:

For Miami, Kyle Alexander (Right Knee; Hyperextended & PCL Sprain), Tyler Herro (Right Ankle Soreness), Meyers Leonard (Left Ankle Sprain) and KZ Okpala (G League - On Assignment) are out.

For Utah, Mike Conley (Illness) is out, while Ed Davis (Back Spasms) is doubtful.

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