The Phoenix Suns led the Miami Heat throughout the fourth quarter Saturday night, but three free throws from Duncan Robinson with 31.4 seconds left made it a 114-111 game. The Heat needed to make a defensive stand, and Andre Iguodala guarded Devin Booker well.
But Booker got into the lane and made a driving layup attempt. Bam Adebayo rose in the air to block the shot, but he was a split second too late. The referees called goaltending, and the Suns grabbed a 117-112 lead with 12 seconds left. Robinson missed a 3-pointer on the other end, and the game was over.
The Heat fell to 2-3 in the bubble and retain the four seed only thanks to their tiebreaker over the Indiana Pacers. And the Heat’s next game is against the Indiana Pacers.
Jimmy Butler, Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic all missed the game for Miami. That forced Spoelstra to use some unconventional lineups, like playing Gabe Vincent and Solomon Hill a combined 31 minutes. Neither is expected to be in the rotation if the Heat are at full strength, and they shot a combined 2-for-11 from the field.
But still, I was wondering why Bam Adebayo only played 30 minutes Saturday night. The Heat big man had a nice game, going for 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, seven rebounds and nine assists. This play was a nice, explosive move for the third-year player.
You won't find a better definition of BBQ chicken than this wow pic.twitter.com/kIj6FZl4cq— x - Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 9, 2020
But Adebayo also turned the ball over five times and missed some shots around the rim he should make. The Heat didn’t need for him to have a nice game, they needed for him to dominate. Midway through the fourth quarter, Adebayo drove the ball in the open court, but 6-foot-1 guard Jevon Carter stripped the ball from him and ignited a fast-break. Deandre Ayton made a layup at the other end, and the Heat fell down 99-94.
Jevon Carter, by the way, killed the Heat. He scored 20 points on 6-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Heat’s 3-point shooting, by contrast, was not there. Miami combined to go just 11-for-36 from downtown. Jae Crowder was the lone bright spot; he went 4-of-5 from 3-point land. Kelly Olynyk was 1-of-5. Vincent was 0-for-4. Robinson went 4-for-12 from downtown, but made some nice drives to the basket to throw off the defense.
Duncan getting it done AT the rim so far tonight pic.twitter.com/MjeI3KmkCE— x - Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 8, 2020
Probably Miami’s best brightest spot from the game was Tyler Herro’s performance. Though he shot 1-of-4 from downtown, Herro did plenty of damage from mid-range and around the rim. He finished with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the field, 10 assists and eight rebounds. Look at this perfect pass he makes to Adebayo in the fast-break.
Heck of a pass by Herro to Bam for the finish with contact pic.twitter.com/VkTaQZbhsC— Joseph Beguiristain (@JoeBeguiristain) August 9, 2020
Andre Iguodala also showed flashes of a vintage performance, going to the lane for an and-one opportunity. Iguodala finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field, five rebounds and three assists. Although the 36-year-old veteran looked shaky before the season suspension, he’s shown good progress thus far in the bubble.
The Heat will face the Indiana Pacers who are knocking on the door Monday night at 8 p.m.