HEAT Drop Tough One To Nets

Jimmy Butler
Photo Credit: Nathaniel S. Butler
by Joe Beguiristain

Although the HEAT were in a nice rhythm for most of the contest, they couldn’t maintain their lead down the stretch in a tough 117-113 loss to the Nets Friday night at Barclays Center.

Let’s take a look at some bright spots despite the disappointing result.

1. Jimmy Gets Buckets

Simply put, Jimmy Butler did his thing from start to finish in Brooklyn.

With the Nets off to a red-hot start from distance in the first quarter, Butler responded with nine-straight points and 13 total in the opening period.

And of course, assertive drives like this were part of the equation:

As the game progressed, Butler continued to be aggressive and knocked down a bunch of mid-range jumpers.

In fact, he led all players with eight points on 4-of-5 shooting in the fourth, including this difficult step-back jumper over Spencer Dinwiddie:

When it was all said and done, Butler amassed a game-high 33 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the line, a team-high nine boards, two assists and a block.

2. Bam Strong Early

As usual, Bam Adebayo did a little bit of everything against the Nets.

Not only did he handle the ball often at the top of the key and set up his guys with accurate passes and dribble handoffs, but he also knocked down two jumpers and finished plays inside.

Among all his buckets, though, nothing touches this drive and hook in traffic late in the fourth:

And on the flip side of the ball, Adebayo helped Kendrick Nunn trap Dinwiddie along the perimeter early on and competed hard against Brooklyn’s slew of bigs more often than not.

Speaking of defense, this one-on-one sequence on Dinwiddie was perhaps his best play of the night on that end:

In all, the former Kentucky Wildcat tallied 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, a team-high seven assists, six rebounds, a team-high two steals (tied with Derrick Jones Jr.) and that block above.

3. Dragić Remains Sharp Off The Bench

Once again, Goran Dragić provided instant offense for Miami upon coming off the bench.

And while he did work in the first half, this fantastic move against DeAndre Jordan late in the third was a sight to behold:

Lost in the Dragon Sauce.

In total, Dragić had 17 points, five assists, two boards and a team-high plus-nine rating (tied with James Johnson).

Other Takeaways:

-Tyler Herro wreaked havoc off the dribble and came through with some great close-outs on defense.

In particular, these passes early in the fourth were rather notable:

The rookie ended up with nine points on 4-of-9 shooting, five rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Game Note:

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

Looking Ahead:

-After facing the Knicks on Sunday afternoon, the HEAT will head home to prepare for their matchup with the Spurs on Wednesday at 7:30PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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