HEAT Bounce Back, Defeat Spurs 106-100

Kendrick Nunn
Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

Thanks to some strong defense in the fourth quarter, the HEAT defeated the Spurs 106-100 Wednesday night at AmericanAirlines Arena to improve to a league-best 18-1 at home.

They also got the job done because of Kendrick Nunn.

1. Nunn Better

So…as the title says, there was nobody better than Nunn on Wednesday.

For starters, he was literally perfect offensively in the first half.

Seriously, he led all players with 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-4 from deep, before the break.

Naturally, he mixed things up with catch-and-shoot treys, pull-up mid-range jumpers and sky-high floaters.

As the game progressed, Nunn continued to make shots (he ended up hitting his first nine attempts) and sealed the deal with a team-high eight points in the fourth.

This steal and euro-step was perhaps his best play of the final period:

Speaking of steals and defense, the rookie did a nice job guarding Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills, among others.

When it was all said and done, Nunn tallied a game-high 33 points on 13-of-18 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, four assists, three rebounds and a game-high two steals (tied with DeMar DeRozan and Derrick White).

2. Bam Flirts With A Triple-Double

Although Bam Adebayo didn’t shoot as well as he’s used to, he pretty much did everything else.

In addition to playing solid defense on LaMarcus Aldridge and Trey Lyles, he also freed up his teammates with great screens and dished out some accurate passes like this:

All told, the HEAT ran offense through him down the stretch, and he delivered more often than not.

In all, Adebayo accumulated 14 points on 6-of-15 shooting, a game-high 13 rebounds, a game-high seven assists (tied with DeRozan) and a game-high two blocks (tied with Jakob Poeltl).

3. Dragić Catches Fire In The Second Quarter

Simply put, Goran Dragić gave Miami a jolt of energy in the second quarter with 12 of the team’s first 15 points in the period thanks to a bevy of threes.

This one was his craftiest:

Dragić ended up with 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including 5-of-10 from downtown, five assists, one rebound and a game-high plus-14 rating.

Other Takeaways:

-Jimmy Butler struggled a bit from the field, but he came away with the best defensive play of the night.

Butler concluded with 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting, four assists, three rebounds, one steal and that block above.

-Derrick Jones Jr. nearly brought the rim down on this dunk late in the third quarter:

And as usual, he was a menace defensively against DeRozan, Mills and Bryn Forbes throughout the contest.

In total, Jones Jr. had seven points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one block and a plus-seven rating.

Game Notes:

-Tyler Herro (Left Knee Bruise) was an active scratch.

-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:

-The HEAT will head out on a two-game road trip and face the Thunder on Friday and Spurs on Sunday. From there, Miami will then return home for a five-game homestand, starting with the Kings on MLK Day at 5PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.

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