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Five Stars: ...And Justise For All

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Justise Winslow tops the Five Stars in a rousing eight-point win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

NBA: Los Angeles Lakers at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive where we dig into the box score of each Heat game and pick apart the numbers under the numbers. The top five players are the Five Stars, regardless of which team they player for. I used the GameScore metric, with a slight adjustment for plus/minus to rank the players.

First Star

Justise Winslow (MIA) 26.8

Winslow joins the Five Stars for the fourth time this season with his first First Star performance. He scored a career-high and team-high-tying 23 points on a 10-of-16 night. He missed his only three-point attempt and half of his free throws, but earned a double-double by pulling down 13 rebounds, including three offensive. He added four steals and three assists along with a game-high plus-22 rating and an approximate Player Efficiency Rating (PER) of 23.0.

It felt like 2006 in the arena. Our young players were sitting there, eyes wide open, and they saw a vision of what we’re trying to build. - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra

Second Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 25.0

Whiteside racked up his customary double-double, matching Winslow’s night with 23 points, three offensive and 10 defensive rebounds. Whiteside made nine-of-12 from the field and an encouraging five-of-six from the stripe, with a block, a steal, and a plus-13 rating in 37 minutes. He earned the highest estimated PER of the game with a mark of 24.3.

Emotions came out. I was really glad we were part of the Shaq retirement. It gave us an extra boost, extra energy. - Goran Dragic

Third Star

Nick Young (LAL) 16.9

Swaggy P led the Lakers with 35 minutes on the floor, and totaled 20 points by shooting five-of-11 from outside and two-of-three from inside the arc. He made his only foul shot, with a plus-10 rating, an approximate PER of 17.4, two steals and one assist. Somewhat improbably, he finished the night with nary a single rebound.

We’re supposed to put the nail in the coffin when we got teams down by 18, we have to keep going and not let up. - Young

Fourth Star

Louis Williams (LAL) 16.8

Williams came off the bench to lead the Lakers with 27 points in 28 minutes of action. He earned an approximate 21.6 PER, making eight-of-17 overall shots from the field, including three-of-seven from beyond the arc. Williams drained all eight of his foul shots, adding a pair of rebounds, an assist, and a minus-7 rating.

We’ll get there. I told the guys, we will get there. We’re playing good basketball. We’re not doing the little things that make you win ballgames very well right now - Lakers coach Luke Walton

Fifth Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 15.6

TJ gets into the Five Stars for the 11th time this season, coming off the bench to score 14 points on a five-for-14 performance. Somewhat incomprehensively, he made four-of-six from outside and just one-of-eight from shorter distance, and did not attempt a foul shot. Johnson also had six assists, a steal, a block, a rebound, and a plus-18 rating, finishing the night with a 17.0 approximate PER. Just for information sake, he edged out Goran Dragic’s adjusted GameScore by 0.2 for the Fifth Star.

The point I was making to those guys was nobody could look each other in the eye and say they were giving their best effort - almost-coach Udonis Haslem on his early game pep talk

Nightly Notable

After missing their first six shots of the game, and going down, 11-0, Miami made 45-of-78 shots over the last 44 minutes of the game for a 57.7% shooting rate. They also drained 11-of-22 shots from three-point territory. On another note, watching this game reminded me of why I still watch the Heat play despite their struggles this season. With the notable exceptions of the beginning parts of the first two quarters, Miami came to play, and you could see that they wanted to win. It was a fun game to watch.

Friday’s Worst

Jordan Clarkson (LAL) -0.3

Clarkson scored four points with three helpers, two steals and two rebounds in 25 minutes, finishing with a minus-9 rating and an adjusted PER that was just below zero.

Five Stars Standings

Hassan Whiteside 155
Goran Dragic 80
Tyler Johnson 67
Dion Waiters 34
James Johnson 29
Justise Winslow 16
Josh Richardson 11