Though the game didn’t mean anything technically, it was still quite a sight for sore eyes to see the Miami Heat back in action Wednesday night after such a long break with a 104-98 win against the Sacramento Kings. No fans were in attendance (the wraparound “scoreboard” looked like it had been turned inside out), the quarters were shortened to 10 minutes, and the scrimmage, their first of three to warm up for the NBA’s restart in Orlando, was played as if the Heat were hosting the shorthanded Kings and the game was surprisingly competitive and entertaining throughout.
Miami raced out to an early lead with a barrage of three-pointers led by Duncan Robinson, who showed zero rust and was dialed in from the start with four out of the team’s first seven threes out of eight attempts. The team raced out to a double-digit lead not just because of their accuracy but because those field goals were assisted and thus their shots were in rhythm. Robinson finished with a team-high 18 points (5-8 3pt FG shooting) despite sitting out the second half along with Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic.
Duncan Robinson has a torch pic.twitter.com/bIPGsuMdda— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 23, 2020
Butler scored nine points, and played like he did early in the season, not particularly looking for his own shot but looking to get his teammates involved. Dragic replaced Kendrick Nunn in the starting line-up and had 11 points on 4-6 shooting.
Kelly Olynyk made his case that he deserves a big role when the games do matter with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists in 22 minutes. Not only did he help spread the floor, he was also able to get to the free throw line consistently. Tyler Herro (15 points, six rebounds) looked healthy and spry, and though he didn’t shoot well he was still able to make an impact — notably in the fourth quarter when Spoelstra was using his deep rotation players. Fellow rookie Chris Silva also had some nice moments in the fourth to preserve the, um, “win”?
The Kings led by Buddy Hield, who scored 19 points, were missing several key players but stormed back in the first quarter with a balanced team attack and kept the game close. Even though they would come close to chipping the Heat’s lead completely away, Miami would hold on to the lead not particularly with their defense but on the strength of their 47% team field goal percentage and 31.8% from deep.
Miami will next “visit” the Utah Jazz on Saturday at 4:00pm for their second scrimmage.