James Johnson drove to the rim and missed a shot at the end of overtime against the Denver Nuggets. The game was headed for a second overtime.
Johnson made sure there wouldn’t be any additional playing time needed.
The Miami Heat forward scored 10 of his team’s 18 points in the second overtime period, lifting the Heat past a relentless Denver Nuggets team that seemingly responded to every run Miami made, 149-141. The scoring total marked the Heat’s franchise record for scoring. Johnson’s score here put the game out of reach for Denver.
But it wasn’t just this sweet fake and drive to the basket. Johnson, who came into the game shooting 29.8 percent from downtown, made three 3s in the overtime periods. He made two 3s within an 78-second span that gave Miami an eight-point lead — at the time, their biggest lead all night.
During one second quarter stretch, Johnson got the assist on three consecutive Heat possessions. The Heat co-captain scored 31 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field, including 4-of-6 from downtown, to go along with 11 rebounds and six assists.
Kelly Olynyk joined Johnson in the 30-point club Monday night; like Johnson, Olynyk made four 3s. Olynyk shot 11-for-16 from the field, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out five assists and swatted four shots, all with great timing. Take a look at this play from the third quarter — Olynyk sets a screen for Wayne Ellington, but then pops to the corner for a 3.
Another Denver miscommunication springs Olynyk free. Heat are 11-of-22 from three. pic.twitter.com/BmTpXj2Ndv— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) March 20, 2018
For his part, Ellington made six 3-pointers and finished with 23 points. He made this 3-pointer to open the second overtime period, getting the Heat on their decisive run of the game. Ellington, who played in all the crunch time minutes, flirted with danger when he picked up his fifth foul in the second overtime period.
Goran Dragic added 20 points for the Heat on 6-of-15 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 shooting from the foul line. Dragic’s shooting from the foul line was a nice contrast to the 10 missed free throws from the Heat. Bam Adebayo made just one of his six attempts from the foul line, and he split a pair with 26 seconds left in regulation. If Miami had lost, those missed free throws would have loomed large.
Though he did miss five free throws, Adebayo had two of the biggest plays of the night — a backbreaking alley-oop slam and a subsequent drive to the rim.
That's a nice little play design to get oh good lord. pic.twitter.com/wxgksGnFOo— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) March 20, 2018
Followed very quickly by Point Bam. pic.twitter.com/aw9kyQvtbk— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) March 20, 2018
Adebayo also had some nice defensive sequences against Nikola Jokic. Although his missed free throws were maddening — and he still has a ways to go to develop his offensive repertoire — tonight was another nice step forward for the rookie.
Josh Richardson added 17 points for the Heat on 6-of-13 shooting from the field, five rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Richardson’s block here — in a tie game with less than 30 seconds left in the first overtime — may have saved the game for the Heat. Tonight, Richardson showed some timing on blocks that was reminiscent of Dwyane Wade.
There are many, many candidates for play of the night, but given the time and situation this block by Richardson might be it. pic.twitter.com/LdtAlMboBt— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) March 20, 2018
The Heat will host the New York Knicks Wednesday at 7:30, looking to continue moving up in the standings.