With five-and-a-half minutes left in the Miami Heat’s home game against the Orlando Magic, Terrence Ross rose for a 3-pointer to give Orlando a 104-103 lead. Ross cooked Miami all night long, going 8-of-10 from beyond the arc.
But the Heat had their own sharpshooter, Duncan Robinson. He made seven 3s in the first half. And at the 4:09 mark, a Goran Dragic steal led to an open Robinson 3. Splash.
On Miami’s next possession, Dragic made a 3. The one after that, Jae Crowder made one from deep. That make gave the Heat 22 3-pointers in a game, a franchise record.
With just six seconds remaining, Miami held a three-point lead. But Aaron Gordon couldn’t made a corner 3 over Crowder in the final seconds, and the Heat held on to win their fourth straight game, 116-113. Miami improved to 40-22 on the season. The Heat moved three games ahead of the Pacers and Sixers for the fourth seed, and remained two-and-a-half games behind Boston for the three seed.
And for the Heat, this win ends the team’s home-stand with a 4-1 record — one that started with an ominous start with yet another Heat fourth-quarter collapse against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week.
After that, Miami ripped off impressive wins against the league-leading Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Brooklyn Nets and now the Magic. And Wednesday, the Heat won a game that featured 23 lead-changes, playing with fourth-quarter poise they didn’t show right after the All-Star break.
Robinson led Miami with 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. Dragic was right behind him, scoring 25 points off the bench. He made five 3s, dished out nine assists and was a team-best +15 in his 31 minutes on the court. He made the right pass and drove to the basket for much-needed points in the paint.
While Dragic has made a case for Sixth Man of the Year since the start of the season, two other reserves have had their critics at various points this season — Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala. Olynyk went five-of-five from the field, including three conversions from downtown, Wednesday night.
He played so well early in the fourth that Erik Spoelstra kept Bam Adebayo on the bench longer than usual. When the Heat play those minutes early in the second and fourth quarters without Butler and Adebayo, it’s critical for the reserves to make their shots. Olynyk did.
And Iguodala had another strong defensive game after his effort against Milwaukee, coming up with a steal and a block late in the third quarter. Iguodala didn’t come here to score; he came here to play defense. The last few games, the 2015 NBA Finals MVP has shown he still can do that.
Though Jimmy Butler’s numbers don’t jump off the page — 12 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and just one turnover — he directed Miami’s offense brilliantly. He found 3-point shooters, cutters to the basket and generally made the right play.
Playing against Aaron Gordon since defeating him in the Slam Dunk Contest, Derrick Jones Jr. contributed nine points on 4-of-6 shooting. He also grabbed a rebound right out of Gordon’s hands in the third. And the best part of it was that it led to a Kendrick Nunn 3.
Derrick Jones Jr. stealing the rebound from Aaron Gordon the same way he stole the slam dunk championship from him. pic.twitter.com/nwOSPK6b0U— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 5, 2020
The Heat will visit the New Orleans Pelicans Friday at 8 p.m.