HEAT’s Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Clippers

Dion Waiters
Photo Credit: David Alvarez
by Joe Beguiristain

Although the HEAT made a valiant comeback attempt late, they couldn’t quite overcome a tough third quarter and fell to the Clippers 122-117 Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Let’s look at some takeaways.

1. Philly Cheese Returns

So…Dion Waiters did not disappoint in his season debut.

After drilling a couple treys in the second quarter, Waiters scored eight points in the fourth and came through with this fantastic sequence where he blocked Lou Williams twice and hit a three on the other end:

Speaking of defense, Waiters laid it all on the line and competed hard against Kawhi Leonard late in the contest.

In all, Waiters amassed 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-9 from deep, four rebounds, one assist and those game-high two blocks above.

2. Herro Gets To The Rack

From the beginning, Tyler Herro made some noise on both ends of the floor in his fourth start of the season.

In particular, he took advantage of the Clippers running him off the three-point line with drives much like this one:

And on the flip side of the ball, the rookie played spirited defense on Williams down the stretch.

When it was all said and done, Herro had 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting and four boards.

3. KO Goes Off In The Fourth

Kelly Olynyk played well through three quarters, but he really wreaked havoc in the fourth with a team-high 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Naturally, crafty finishes like this were part of the equation:

Olynyk finished with 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting, a team-high nine rebounds and two assists.

Other Takeaways:

-As usual, Jimmy Butler attacked the basket, set up his teammates and played solid defense.

However, he had to exit the game in the fourth quarter after suffering a sprained right ankle.

Butler ended up with a team-high 20 points on 6-of-15 shooting from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the line, eight rebounds and seven assists.

-Early on, Bam Adebayo dominated inside.

Need proof?

In addition to throwing down this alley-oop jam thanks to a steal by Duncan Robinson and a nifty behind-the-back pass by Herro….

…Adebayo caught LA sleeping with this wise cut and flush with contact late in the second quarter:

In total, the former Kentucky Wildcat accumulated 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, a team-high nine assists, eight boards, one block and a plus-14 rating.

Game Notes:

-Goran Dragić (Left Calf Soreness), Kendrick Nunn (Left Achilles Soreness) and Justise Winslow (Lower Back Bone Bruise) were active scratches.

-Kyle Alexander (G League - Two-Way), KZ Okpala (G League - On Assignment), Chris Silva (G League - On Assignment) and Gabe Vincent (G League - Two-Way) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will continue their homestand on Monday at 7:30PM against the Magic. Tickets for that game can be found here.

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