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Waiters leads late charge as Heat take down Jazz 84-74

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Dion Waiters came through in the clutch to put away the poor shooting Jazz.

NBA: Miami Heat at Utah Jazz Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat put on their best defensive display to secure their third win in the last four games on the road with a gritty 84-74 win against the host Utah Jazz.

Despite holding the Jazz to an incredible 4-33 (12.1%) shooting display in the second half, a franchise record low for an opponent in any half, the outcome of the game was still unclear until Dion Waiters took charge and led a 13-0 crunch time run to put them away. Utah shot 34% from the field overall for the game and were outscored 47-25 in the second half.

Early on, the Jazz had their way with the Heat inside the paint but they responded with 10 straight points to take their first lead at 23-18 thanks to some hot shooting from the reserves and Waiters near the end of the first quarter. Tyler Johnson started hot from the field with a perfect 3-3 shooting for seven points in six minutes off the bench.

Utah regain lead at 35-33 midway through the second quarter with seven straight points and they would go on to build a 20-4 run and build a 12-point lead. Miami was out-scored 27-12 in second quarter and held to 32% shooting in the first half.

Bucking a trend in which the Heat would play well in the first half and poorly in the second half, they would start the 3rd quarter with 11 straight points and go on to tie it at 50-50 thanks to a 13-1 run. Utah made just one a single field goal out of their 18 attempts from the field for the entire quarter (an opponent franchise low for any quarter for both shooting percentage and field goals made) amid a fine Heat defensive display led by Whiteside. However, the Heat had 8 turnovers and allowed the Jazz to tie the game by committing several fouls late in the period.

Utah continued to shoot very poorly in the fourth quarter but managed to stay in the game with their repeated trips to the charity stripe. With the game in balance, Waiters would take over with 12 points along with Goran Dragic’s seven points in the final quarter.