Miami didn’t play like a mediocre road team against the Pacers, who entered the game with a 15-4 home record. The Heat dominated Indiana throughout the game, building a lead that crested at 31 before holding on to win 122-108.
And we even got some more bad blood between the Heat and Pacers when T.J. Warren committed a foul on Jimmy Butler.
TJ grabbed his arm but this was some next level trash talk from Jimmy. pic.twitter.com/TiDlPopAjW— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) January 9, 2020
The referees called technical fouls on Warren and Butler. A moment later, Butler led with his shoulder against Warren, an offensive foul. Warren clapped in Butler’s face, and the referees called a second technical on Warren, ejecting him from the game. Butler blew him kisses goodbye.
The Pacers booed Butler heavily the rest of the way, but the Heat star seemed to relish it. Just a few minutes after Warren’s ejection, Butler grabbed an offensive rebound and shoveled a pass to Bam Adebayo for an and-one.
Butler scored eight of his 14 points in the first quarter, leading the charge for Miami offensively. He was explosive in transition, something we haven’t seen much of from Butler this season. The four-time All-Star also grabbed six rebounds and dished out seven assists. And he only played 28 minutes, sitting the entire fourth quarter.
When Jimmy defense leads to Jimmy offense >>>> pic.twitter.com/9NDIVSmYwE— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 9, 2020
Bam Adebayo scored 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, nine rebounds and four assists. He made a couple of short jumpers, an encouraging sign, and also made a nice move from a wide-open dunk.
The Heat got strong offensive contributions from their supporting cast around Butler and Adebayo. Tyler Herro made five 3-pointers on the night, including some much-needed ones in the fourth quarter when Miami’s offense sputtered. Duncan Robinson made four 3s and even took the ball to the basket after a steal in the third quarter.
Derrick Jones Jr., who isn’t known as a knock-down shooter, even made two 3s. On another possession, he made all three free throws attempts after he got fouled taking a 3-pointer. Jones finished with 18 points, went 6-of-7 from the foul line and grabbed seven boards.
*Insert nightly ✈️ mode tweet here* pic.twitter.com/h6Y1enipRE— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 9, 2020
Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic each chipped in 15 points for the Heat, each offering their offensive skills to help Miami’s superb offensive night.
Justise Winslow returned from a month-long absence and played 15 minutes off the bench, taking just two shots. On one possession, Winslow had a wide-open jumper at the foul line, but passed the ball to Tyler Herro. I would’ve liked to see Winslow take that shot, if only to get into an offensive rhythm. He made a nice drive to the basket on another possession, but missed. Hopefully Winslow will shake off the rest soon.
With Miami’s win and a Boston Celtics loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Heat moved into second place in the Eastern Conference at 27-10. The Heat will next visit the Brooklyn Nets Friday night at 7:30 p.m.