While Jimmy Butler rested, the Miami Heat went on an 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to take a 98-95 lead over the San Antonio Spurs. Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn powered Miami’s offense during that run.
And then the Spurs went on a 10-0 run to wrestle the lead back. Miami committed some crucial errors during that period, including a bad pass from Bam Adebayo that lead to a LaMarcus Aldridge and-one. But Miami still had a chance in the closing seconds. Duncan Robinson had a good look at a 3-pointer with the Heat down three.
After starting the game making all of his first 4 3-point attempts, Robinson missed his last six tries from downtown — none bigger than the potential game-tying one. The Heat fell to 29-13 on the season, unable to complete the season sweep of the Spurs.
Adebayo was Miami’s biggest bright spot, scoring 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field, grabbing 16 rebounds and dishing out six assists. Late in the second quarter, Adebayo and Jimmy Butler teamed up in a nice two-man game for a few possessions, each finding the other for easy baskets. Seemingly every game, Adebayo adds a bit to his repertoire.
Let's reiterate, again, that Bam shot 25% from this range his rookie season. He's been hovering around 50% now for over a month. pic.twitter.com/5qNMEzZ08V— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) January 19, 2020
Butler, for his part, finished with 16 points on a shaky 5-for-14 shooting from the field. With Miami down three with 44 seconds to go, Butler attempted a 3. The Heat’s max player isn’t shooting well from the 3-point line this season, so it’s ill-advised for him to take a 3 in such a big moment of the game. Miami’s much better off with him going to the rim and trying to draw a foul.
Butler, though, wasn’t the only one who struggled from beyond the arc. Meyers Leonard went just 1-for-6 from 3-point range. James Johnson was 1-for-4.
The Heat again used the 2-3 zone for much of the night; it led to mixed results. Patty Mills got going from deep in the second quarter, and the Spurs ran a couple nice plays for Aldridge in the middle of the zone down the stretch. Justise Winslow could have made a difference in tonight’s game.
Tyler Herro returned from a two-game absence, but played just eight scoreless minutes. Miami needed the offensive output of Dragic and Nunn, who combined to go 15-for-27 from the field. Both made shots that calmed Miami’s offense during otherwise disjointed times.
Derrick Jones Jr. had the highlight of the night when he flew over Jakob Poeltl for a tip-dunk off an Adebayo attempt with the shot clock running down. Jones contributed six points on the night, but was a -21 for the night, by far the worst of any Heat player.
Jakob Poeltl forgot to box out Derrick Jones Jr. He chose...poorly. pic.twitter.com/wXdnZoNzXo— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 19, 2020
The Heat will return home to face the Sacramento Kings at 5 p.m. on Martin Luther King Day.