HEAT’s Late Rally Falls Short Against Clippers

Derrick Jones Jr.
Photo Credit: Andrew D. Bernstein
by Joe Beguiristain

Although the HEAT showed a lot of fight late in the game, they couldn’t quite get the job done in a 128-111 loss to the Clippers Wednesday night at Staples Center.

Let’s get into some takeaways.

1. Jones Jr. Has A Career Night

With a bunch of guys out for Miami, Derrick Jones Jr. rose to the occasion and came through with the best game of his career.

In fact, he scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the fourth quarter and did all he could to try and will his squad to victory.

Throughout the contest, Jones Jr. cleaned up misses inside, tied a career high with three made triples and threw down some of his usual jams.

Speaking of dunks, nothing quite touches this one early in the fourth:

(Also note the good deflection, steal and pass by Bam Adebayo. More on him later.)

On the flip side of the ball, “Airplane Mode” was a menace at the top of the zone and competed hard against guys like Lou Williams and Paul George, among others.

When it was all said and done, Jones Jr. amassed a game and career-high 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-5 from deep, nine rebounds, three assists, a team-high two steals (tied with Adebayo) and a block.

2. Bam Hangs Tough

Like Jones Jr., Adebayo saved his best for last.

As a whole, the big fella remained ready for the catch inside and either finished strong jams or patient hook shots.

All told, Adebayo scored 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the fourth, including this nifty bucket over Kawhi Leonard:

And as mentioned previously, the 22-year-old also put in work defensively and showed his versatility more often than not.

In all, Adebayo finished with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, a game-high 11 rebounds, six assists and a team-high two steals.

3. Butler At It Early

While Jimmy Butler did his thing with attacks to the basket, mid-range jumpers and hard-nosed defense in man and zone, his night was short-lived.

Late in the third quarter, Butler suffered a strained right shoulder and did not return.

He ended up with 11 points and a team-high seven assists.

Other Takeaways:

-So…Gabe Vincent wasted little time to get going in his second-career game.

Seriously, he hit three treys in short order early in the second quarter.

Vincent concluded the evening with nine points, one rebound, one assist and one steal.

Game Note:

-Kyle Alexander (Right Knee; Hyperextended & PCL Sprain), Tyler Herro (Right Ankle Soreness), Meyers Leonard (Left Ankle Sprain) and Justise Winslow (Lower Back Bone Bruise) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will continue their road trip and travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings Friday at 10PM. Miami’s next home tilt won’t be until Saturday, Feb. 22 when the organization raises Dwyane Wade’s jersey to the rafters at halftime of its game versus the Cavs. Tickets for that historic event can be found here.

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