The Sacramento Kings looked like they were going to win this game. Until Tyler Johnson stood in the way.
With 50 seconds left in a 102-102 game, Darren Collison raced to the end of the floor after a Goran Dragic turnover. Johnson sped up behind him and blocked his shot in a decisive defensive play.
But Johnson wasn’t done there. On Miami’s ensuing possession, Johnson nearly lost the ball twice before flipping the ball up, getting fouled and seeing the ball go through the hoop.
DeMarcus Cousins missed two shots on the other end of the floor, and the Heat finally snapped their six-game losing streak, winning their first game since Dec. 22, in a 107-102 victory. Johnson finished with 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field, six rebounds and two blocks.
For the Heat, this win was significant — not only to end the losing streak, but to keep calm in the face of adversity. Miami held a 19-point lead with a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter. A 23-2 Kings run gave the lead and momentum to Sacramento, and it looked like the Heat may have headed for another second-half meltdown.
But the Heat regained their composure about midway through the fourth quarter. On one possession, James Johnson blocked a shot attempt from Matt Barnes, igniting a Tyler Johnson one-man fast break for a layup on the other end of the floor.
Johnson & Johnson getting it done in the 4th quarter! pic.twitter.com/VuRbsLqdlR— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 5, 2017
Although Tyler Johnson will (deservedly) get a lot of the credit for Wednesday night’s victory, James Johnson also played well. He contributed 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting for the Heat, six rebounds and six assists. Johnson also was one of several players, including Udonis Haslem and Willie Reed, who played great defense on DeMarcus Cousins — fronting him and making it difficult for Kings players to make entry passes into the post. Johnson fouled out with two minutes left in the game, but made a key 3-pointer right before committing his sixth foul.
Dragic added 19 points, including a perfect 9-of-9 shooting from the foul line, and seven assists for the Heat. Miami saw the value of Dragic when he went out of the game late in the third quarter, and the Heat’s offense hit a standstill. The Heat’s last offensive possession of the third quarter was a contested, long 2-pointer from Dion Waiters, who hadn’t played in 20 games until Wednesday night. To start the fourth quarter, Josh Richardson clanked two 3-pointers. After Dragic came back in, Miami got some more offensive movement and scoring.
After sweeping the season series against the Kings, the Heat will try to sweep the season series against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night. The Heat will play the Lakers in the Staples Center at 10:30 p.m.