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Five Stars: Another Sweep

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Miami’s 10th win in a row was marked by Five Stars.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers 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 play for. I used the GameScore metric, with a slight adjustment for plus/minus to rank the players. This article is for Miami’s 23-point win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Heat’s 10th straight victory.

First Star

Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 35.2

Whiteside had a double-double by the end of the first quarter, with 17 points and 12 rebounds. By the end of the game, he had 30 points and 20 rebounds (six offensive) to go with three blocked shots and a plus-24 rating. From the field, he made 14-of-17 shots, along with two-from-three at the stripe. The game was his 31st time in the Five Stars, not coincidentally along with his 31st double-double of the season. This was his 11th First Star, with an approximate PER of 40.9 in 26:47.

We’re not thinking about the win streak. We’re a whole different team than we were a month ago. - Whiteside

Second Star

Dion Waiters (MIA) 27.7

Waiters finished with a 29.8 PER in 26:15. He made five-of-six shots from outside, on his way to seven-of-10 overall. He also made both of his foul shots to finish with 21. He had seven assists, two steals, a block, and a rebound, posting a plus-30 rating in his 13th Five Star appearance.

Third Star

Tyler Johnson (MIA) 18.2

Johnson came off the bench for a game-high 33:46, and scored 16 points on five-of-nine shooting for a 16.0 PER. He didn’t attempt a shot from three-point distance, but he made six-of-eight free throws. He also pitched in with six boards, six assists, a steal, a block, and a plus-9 rating in his 18th Five Star appearance of the year.

Fourth Star

Goran Dragic (MIA) 18.1

Dragic earned a 19.2 PER in 27:58, in his 27th trip to the Five Stars. He scored 16 points and finished at plus-16, making six-of-11 from the field. He made two of his three free throw attempts and drained both of his three-pointers, with eight assists and four rebounds.

Fifth Star

James Johnson (MIA) 13.8

Johnson came off the bench and played his way into his 15th Five Stars in just 15:33 on the court. He racked up a 28.2 PER by scoring 10 points on four-of-five shooting, missing his only three pointer but making both of his free throws. He had six defensive boards, three helpers, two steals, and a plus-8 rating.

Nightly Notable

The Heat continued to stay hot from the perimeter, draining 12-of-22 shots from outside. Meanwhile, the Sixers made six-of-23 from deep. For the second game in a row, the Five Stars were Miami’s Five “top players,” according to the Five Stars Standings, below.

Saturday’s Worst

Dario Saric (PHI) -4.5

Saric made just one-of-nine field goals on his way to four points in 27 minutes. He also had four rebounds, two steals, four fouls, a minus-9 rating, and two turnovers.

They punched us in the mouth again - Philadelphia guard T.J. McConnell

Five Stars Standings

Hassan Whiteside 203
Goran Dragic 173
Tyler Johnson 102
Dion Waiters 86
James Johnson 70
Willie Reed 33
Wayne Ellington 27
Josh Richardson 26
Justise Winslow 16
Rodney McGruder 9
Derrick Williams 3
Josh McRoberts 1
Luke Babbitt 1