The Miami Heat faced off against the Brooklyn Nets in their second game of the Orlando Summer League tournament on Sunday and walked away with the hard-fought victory after a thrilling game-winning play.
Led by Zoran Dragic and Tyler Johnson, the Heat promptly raced out to an early lead as they did in their first game against the Indiana Pacers but the Nets slowly chipped away once Heat coach Dan Craig started to play his reserves.
Willie Reed was the first half star for the Heat, leading them with nine points and six rebounds, five of which off the offensive glass, at the half. Justise Winslow had eight points but struggled from the field and missed his first four 3-point attempts. Dragic was aggressive early on offense and attacked the rim multiple times, as did Johnson, who was the primary ball handler with Shabazz Napier again sidelined with his hernia injury that cut his rookie season short.
Four minutes into the second half, the Nets took the lead at 48-47 with most of the Heat starters on the floor but Miami bounced back and led 58-53 entering the fourth quarter. Reed continued to dominant the offensive glass and displayed some nifty post-up moves to score inside for the Heat.
Led by Ryan Boatright with 23 points, the Nets once again stormed back to re-take the lead with five minutes left in the game.
The Heat had another chance to take the lead with 7.5 seconds left when Winslow was fouled as he attempted a jump shot but missed his first free throw before converting on his second attempt.
Jonathon Simmons of the Nets made two free throws for the one-point lead after he was fouled on a dribble-drive penetration. Using a Summer-League only rule that allowed them to advance the ball to mid-court, the Heat had 0.4 seconds left to win it and converted on a lob play expertly thrown by Winslow to Johnson.
"I was just fortunate," said Johnson. "Actually, a lot of guys ran with James (Ennis). I think they thought the play was actually going to him. They usually don't run a play at the basket like that for a guard so I think it kind of caught them off-guard."
With the 71-70 win, the Heat improve to 2-0 in the Orlando tournament. Reed led the Heat with 17 points, nine total rebounds and six offensive rebounds. Winslow finished 3-10 from the field but got to free throw line consistently -- going 8-12 -- and had 14 points, four assists and five rebounds, but also had five turnovers. Johnson scored 12 points, dished out four assists and grabbed four rebounds.
"With Justise," said Craig, "I told him in the locker room, 'You missed three free throws in a row, you stay with it and you make the last free throw and then you make the game-winning assist.' Which he couldn't have put that pass at the perfect spot for Tyler to finish. So as a rookie, it's a tremendous job just staying with it.
"I told the guys, 'Winners find a way to win.'"