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Five Stars: Lucky 13

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Johnson was Miami’s key cog in winning their 13th straight game.

NBA: Miami Heat at Brooklyn Nets Andy Marlin-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. This article is for Miami’s nine-point win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night.

First Star

James Johnson (MIA) 25.8

Johnson earned his third “First Star” in his 17th appearance overall in the Five Stars. He earned a 23.2 PER in 34:44 off the bench. He scored a season-high 26 points on 11-for-17 shooting, making all four foul shots and missing both of his three-pointers. He added eight rebounds, three blocks, two assists, a steal, and a club-high plus-17 rating. He was just full of it tonight. Check out the brakes on this guy at the 1:40 mark of the highlight, below.

We’re always resilient. The thing that stands out the most to me today was the locker room speech. We went to the locker room, got collected, came out, and executed as a team. - Johnson

Second Star

Brook Lopez (BKN) 24.0

Lopez had the highest “unadjusted” GameScore, and also logged the highest PER, at 27.5 in a team-high 30:53. He had a game-high 30 points on 10-for-17 shooting, making one-of-three from deep and nine-of-12 from the foul stripe. Lopez earned a plus-2 rating, with eight boards, two blocks, and an assist. Like in Brooklyn’s first game against Miami, last month, Lopez was the only Nets’ representative in the Five Stars.

Third Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 16.0

Johnson’s 19th Five Star appearance this season featured Tyler playing a game-high 36:13. He drained six-of-16 from the floor and missed all three of his long distance bombs, but made all six of his free throw attempts. He earned a 12.7 PER, and added six rebounds (three offensive), with three steals, two assists, and a plus-16 rating.

Fourth Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 14.5

Dragic, ranking second on the team with his 30th Five Star game, earned a 14.5 PER in 34:32. He scored 21 points on nine-for-18 shooting, making one-of-four from deep and two-of-three foul shots. Dragic had five assists, four rebounds, a block, and a plus-3 rating.

I like the second half, how we came out. Our defense was really poor in the first half. I don’t know what it is about Brooklyn, but they always take the lead against us and we came back. - Dragic

Fifth Star

Rodney McGruder (MIA) 11.5

McGruder earned an 11.9 PER in 34:56, scoring 11 points on five-of-12 shooting. He made one-of-three three-pointers, with six boards, four steals, three helpers, and a plus-9 rating in his fifth trip to the Five Stars.

It took a lot of grit from everyone on the bench. We were feeding off the energy out there. - McGruder

Nightly Notable

The seldom mentioned “Sixth Star” went to none other than Okaro “13-0” White. The rookie played a career high 30:36, and scored 10 points with a plus-16 rating, along with five rebounds (four of them were offensive).

Friday’s Worst

Isaiah Whitehead (BKN) -1.9 and Joe Harris (BKN) -3.4

It’s hard to take down a team on a 12-game winning streak, and harder yet when you give nearly 37 minutes of floor time to a duo who made four-of-13 shots from the floor with four rebounds, six turnovers, and six fouls, with a minus-17 rating.

Five Stars Standings

Hassan Whiteside 219
Goran Dragic 191
Tyler Johnson 108
James Johnson 88
Dion Waiters 86
Willie Reed 33
Wayne Ellington 33
Josh Richardson 26
Justise Winslow 16
Rodney McGruder 15
Derrick Williams 3
Josh McRoberts 1
Luke Babbitt 1