With the team shorthanded yet again, Jimmy Butler led the way with his second triple-double in the last three games to lead the Miami Heat to a gritty 112-103 win Friday night against the visiting Washington Wizards.
The Heat are now 9-0 at the AmericanAirlines Arena, their best home start in franchise history, and though the Wizards are a sub-.500 team playing on the second night of a back-to-back, they didn’t go down without a fight. Miami struggled early to put their stamp on the game, especially against Davis Bertans, who did most of his damage from deep in the first half, and Moritz Wagner, a force inside who found ways to score against a Heat defense that was lacking in execution until late in the game to help put the game away.
Without Justise Winslow or Goran Dragic, it was up to Jimmy Butler to make sure this game wouldn’t slip away from them. He scored 28 points and collected 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his sixth triple-double of his career and his second of the week. But it was also Bam Adebayo who stepped up and assured the victory with a career-high 24 points on a variety of inside moves and short jumpers. Rookie guard Tyler Herro was also impressive with 22 points off the bench.
The game marked the first time the Heat faced a double-digit deficit in a home game and the first half was for the most part surprisingly played on the Wizards’ terms, who had beaten the Philadelphia 76ers the night before. Whether it was the Heat’s improved defense with more energy, or simply fatigue — or a combination of both — but the Wizards went from scoring 65 points in the first half to just 38 in the second half. Miami also made it a priority to not allow Bradley Beal to get comfortable in the second half by frequently double-teaming him and trapping him.
Miami next hosts the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.out Justise WInslo