Bam Adebayo Hits Game-Winner To Lead HEAT Past Nets
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
Despite being without Jimmy Butler, the HEAT made no excuses and defeated the Nets 109-107 Sunday afternoon at AmericanAirlines Arena.
And Bam Adebayo was the reason why.
1. Bam Calls Game
With Miami losers of three straight heading into this one, there was a lot of outside noise and conjecture going around about the team.
So, how did Adebayo respond?
He balled out from the opening tip and did everything he could to come away with the win.
In what was a microcosm of his entire performance, Adebayo forced Kyrie Irving into a miss with 24.3 seconds remaining…
…and hit a pull-up jumper over Jeff Green at the buzzer to win it.
That kind of defense on Irving was on display throughout the contest, as Adebayo fared very well against the seven-time All-Star on switches and also made things difficult for his primary covers in Blake Griffin and Nicolas Claxton.
You already know…no ceiling.
When it was all said and done, Adebayo amassed a team-high 21 points (a game-high nine in the fourth) on 9-of-16 shooting, a game-high 15 rebounds, five dimes, a game-high two steals (tied with five other players) and a plus-nine rating.
2. Ariza Stays Sharp
After coming through with some strong scoring efforts in his last three outings, Trevor Ariza did more of the same against Brooklyn.
In fact, Ariza set the tone with nine quick points in the first quarter and helped space the floor. Of course, he also showed his versatility on the defensive end against Irving, Griffin and others.
That said, perhaps his most impressive sequence came on this big bucket down the stretch when Miami really needed one:
(Also note the effort by Adebayo and Goran Dragić on the glass.)
That’s a guy who’s been around the block a few times.
Ariza finished with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from distance, and a perfect 2-of-2 from the line, nine rebounds and one assist.
3. Dragić Strong Off The Bench
Like Ariza, Dragić got off to a quick start and helped the HEAT get out to an early lead thanks to shots from beyond the arc.
And while that was important, nothing touches this coast-to-coast score on the break that tied the game at 107:
We’ve seen that before.
In all, the Dragon tallied 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the field and a perfect 3-of-3 from the charity stripe, eight rebounds, a team-high seven assists, one steal and a game-high plus-18 rating.
-Simply put, Dewayne Dedmon was incredibly active on both ends and gave Miami some size and muscle inside.
Not only did he bang down low and crash the offensive glass, but he also protected the rim quite well on a number of occasions.
Speaking of protecting the rim, this was the defensive stop and rebound that secured his double-double.
Yup, he gets it.
Dedmon ended up with 10 points on a perfect 1-of-1 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 shooting from the line and 10 boards (five offensive).
-Kendrick Nunn hit some big shots early on and came up one three shy of tying his career-high for made threes in a game.
The 25-year-old concluded with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-8 from downtown, three assists, two rebounds and a game-high two steals (tied with five others).
-Butler (right ankle sprain) was an active scratch.
-Victor Oladipo (right knee soreness) was inactive.
-The HEAT will get right back to it on Monday against the Rockets at 8PM. Tickets for that game can be found here.