Midway through the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat’s road game against the Toronto Raptors, Miami nursed a modest nine-point lead. a rolling Bam Adebayo found Goran Dragic in the left corner for a 3-pointer to put Miami up 12. A little over a minute later, Adebayo again found his point guard in the same spot. Another 3, and the Heat’s lead held at 12.
A little over a minute later, Adebayo again drew attention while he rolled to the basket. But this time, he kicked it out to Andre Iguodala, who made a 3 of his own. That put Miami up 105-90 with 2:53 left to go. The Heat held on to win 111-102 and win their second straight game — a first in this season.
Again without Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro and Avery Bradley, Miami turned to an old friend to provide some offensive spark — Kendrick Nunn. Nunn built on his encouraging performance Monday night against the Detroit Pistons to score a season-high 28 points on 9-of-12 shooting from the field, including an incredible 4-of-6 from downtown. After an abysmal run in the bubble and to start the season, Nunn has looked like the confident player from the first few months of the 2019-20 season.
Nunn with the give-and-go finish over Chris Boucher.— Joseph Beguiristain (@JoeBeguiristain) January 21, 2021
K9 has 13 points and four assists thus far. pic.twitter.com/Cc6zzTGi41
Aside from Nunn, Iguodala also had his best game of the season Wednesday night. The 17-year NBA veteran anchored a zone defense Miami used for most of the night against the Raptors. He made numerous deflections and steals — typical Iguodala things — but also hit three of his four attempts from beyond the arc, a huge boost. He finished with 13 points in 21 minutes.
The Heat have been sprinkling in some 3-2 zone in this one. Easily their best rep so far. pic.twitter.com/eseyRpCiw5— Orange is the New Openly Black (@NekiasNBA) January 21, 2021
Moe Harkless made some nice deflections and steals in the Heat’s win over the Pistons Monday, but he didn’t get off the bench tonight. In fact, Spoelstra turned to Max Strus, a two-way player, instead of Harkless in the rotation. For his part, Strus made just one of his three attempts from 3-point range.
The Heat’s other two-way player, Gabe Vincent, got the start Wednesday night. Vincent went just 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. Those bad shooting nights from Strus and Vincent should make us appreciate Duncan Robinson more. Robinson, who started with Miami on a two-way contract in the 2018-19 season, made all four of his 3s in the first quarter. And even though he didn’t make another field goal, his sheer gravity opened up numerous opportunities for the Heat.
KZ Okpala, who had started in Miami’s previous two games, also didn’t get off the bench.
Bam Adebayo didn’t score his first basket until midway through the second quarter and struggled through most of the game. But in the fourth quarter, he made a nice and-one shot down low and made a big mid-range shot at the close of the shot clock before his assists to Dragic and Iguodala for 3-pointers. It was a great finish for Adebayo, who ended the night with 14 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.
The Heat will face the Raptors again in their temporary home of Tampa, Florida Friday night.