HEAT Down Magic Once Again

Jimmy Butler
Photo Credit: Fernando Medina
by Joe Beguiristain

Thanks to a barrage from deep and stout defense on the other end, the HEAT defeated the Magic 102-89 Saturday night at Amway Center.

Let’s get right into the victory, shall we?

1. Jimmy Explosive Throughout

From the start, Jimmy Butler put a lot of pressure on Orlando’s defense with drives both off the dribble and off the catch.

And as usual, he drew a ton of contact on his attacks to the rim.

Need proof?

Just check out this big bucket late in the fourth quarter:

Told ya.

In all, the 30-year-old vet tallied a game-high 24 points (tied with Aaron Gordon) on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and 8-of-9 shooting from the line, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and a plus-13 rating.

2. Bam Strong Defensively

Although Bam Adebayo struggled from the field, he stuck with it and still managed to make an impact on the game.

In particular, he played tough defense on Gordon, Khem Birch and Nikola Vučević, just to name a few.

Speaking of Gordon, Adebayo swatted him four times. Yes, four times.

Among those blocks, this one from behind late in the fourth was perhaps his best:

Of course, we also can’t forget about this fantastic pass he had to Meyers Leonard:

(More on Leonard in just a bit.)

Adebayo finished with four points, a game-high 14 rebounds (tied with Leonard), five assists, a game-high three steals and a game-high plus-14 rating, to go along with his aforementioned game-high four blocks.

3. Leonard Mixes It Up

Soo…the Magic had pretty much no answer for Leonard on Saturday.

From deep treys to jams to nifty runners like this…

…Leonard had it all going on.

And like Adebayo, he crashed the glass and secured rebounds.

When it was all said and done, Leonard amassed 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 4-of-9 from deep, a game and season-high 14 boards and an assist.

Other Takeaways:

-Simply put, Tyler Herro moved well off the ball, got to his spots on the floor and continued his onslaught from beyond the arc.

All told, he drilled a game-high six threes, including this dagger late in the fourth:

Gotta love it.

Herro ended up with 23 points (a game-high 11 in the fourth) on 7-of-12 shooting, including 6-of-10 from downtown, and three rebounds.

-Derrick Jones Jr. gave Miami a multitude of second-chance opportunities with a game-high five offensive rebounds.

“Airplane Mode” concluded the evening with three points, seven boards, three assists and three blocks.

Game Note:

-Kyle Alexander (G League - Two-Way), KZ Okpala (G League - On Assignment), Gabe Vincent (G League - Two-Way) and Justise Winslow (Lower Back Bone Bruise) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-Up next for the HEAT are the Sixers on Monday at 7:30PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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