HEAT Take Down League-Leading Jazz For Fifth Straight Win

Jimmy Butler
Photo Credit: David Alvarez
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

Both the HEAT and Jazz entered Friday night on hot streaks, so something had to give.

And Miami prevailed.

In a wild game with 14 lead changes, the HEAT defeated the Jazz 124-116 Friday at AmericanAirlines Arena and earned their fifth-straight victory.

Let’s get into some notable performances, starting with you know who.

1. Jimmy Seals It…Again

I mean, what else is there to say about Jimmy Butler at this point?

He’s just that dude.

And from start to finish against Utah, Butler controlled the game and directed traffic for Miami. After dishing out some great feeds to his teammates early on, Butler dropped 12 points in the third as the HEAT and Jazz traded blows.

While the 31-year-old knocked down a bunch of mid-range jumpers throughout the contest, he still did the bulk of his damage on drives to the bucket, like this big runner that put Miami up four with 33 seconds left:

That wasn’t all, though, as Butler also competed hard defensively against Donovan Mitchell and others in multiple looks.

When it was all said and done, Jimmy Buckets tallied a game and season-high 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the line, 10 boards, a game-high eight assists, one steal and a plus-nine rating.

2. The Dragon Breathes Fire In The Fourth

Goran Dragić made a major impact off the bench through three quarters, but then the fourth came around…and things got really fun.

How so?

Well, the Slovenian led all players with 10 points in the final period and helped Miami gain momentum heading into clutch time.

Speaking of clutch time, Dragić drew this key charge on Mike Conley with 1:58 to play and the HEAT up by only three:

That’s a winning play.

Dragić finished with a season-high 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from deep, and 5-of-6 from the line, three boards, two assists, a team-high two steals and a game-high plus-11 rating (tied with Andre Iguodala).

3. Bam Stays Tough

Although Bam Adebayo was questionable to play heading into this one due to left knee tendinosis, you wouldn’t have been able to tell by his performance.

Seriously, he scored six quick points for Miami in the first quarter and helped pull Rudy Gobert out of the paint as much as possible. And as the game progressed, he continued to mix up his offensive approach and came through with a fantastic flurry in the third to keep the HEAT neck-and-neck with the Jazz.

Perhaps no play was more impressive than this catch, fake and finish with contact against Gobert early in the period:

Count it.

Of course, no night would be complete without solid help defense and switches on perimeter players.

In all, Adebayo amassed 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe, a team-high 11 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block and a plus-five rating.

Other Takeaways:

-Duncan Robinson continued to connect from beyond the arc and empty the tank on the defensive end.

Oh yeah, another cut and finish was also part of the equation.

It’s all about player development.

Robinson ended up with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown, six rebounds, one assist and a plus-five rating.

-Iguodala hit some big shots and remained strong on the defensive end before concluding with eight points on 2-of-5 shooting (all from long range), five rebounds, two assists, one steal and a game-high plus-11 rating (tied with Dragić).

Game Notes:

-This was the 2,600th regular-season game in HEAT history (Miami is now 1,354–1,246 all-time).

-Tyler Herro (right hip contusion) was an active scratch.

-Avery Bradley (right calf strain) and Meyers Leonard (left shoulder surgery) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will continue their homestand on Sunday at 8PM when they host the Hawks. Tickets can be found here. If you can’t make it to the HEAT’s house, you can catch all the action on FOX Sports Sun and 790 The Ticket.

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