After struggling in the Miami Heat’s overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers Saturday night, Jimmy Butler looked for his shot from the jump Monday night against the Orlando Magic. He made mid-range jumpers, stole the ball for breakaway dunks and even had some dunks.
It's pretty clear these guys know each other well— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 25, 2021
Kyle ⬆️ Jimmy pic.twitter.com/iWr9YjbzkN
He feasted on second-year point guard Cole Anthony when he checked Butler. By halftime, Butler had scored 24 points. He finished the night with 36 on 15-of-21 shooting from the field — tying a career high for made field goals — to go along with five steals.
The Magic briefly led in the opening moments, but Butler’s dominance carried the Heat to lead the rest of the way. Although Orlando made a couple runs to cut the deficit to six points in the third quarter, Miami held a comfortable lead for the vast majority of the game.
Butler’s strong night was even more important because the Heat struggled from downtown. Miami only had one 3-pointer in the first half and finished the night 6-of-27 from beyond the arc. Duncan Robinson shot 2-of-8, while Kyle Lowry was 1-for-6 and Tyler Herro went 1-for-3. (On the flip side, the Heat shot a perfect 19-for-19 from the free throw line.)
Markieff Morris made a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, though. That put Miami up 14 points and set the tone for the rest of the way, extending the lead beyond reach for the Magic. By the 8:31 mark, a Morris dunk made it a 95-77 Heat lead.
Morris was Miami’s best bench player Monday night, making several mid-range jumpers to lift Miami’s offense in the first half when the 3s didn’t fall. Morris scored 16 points in 25 minutes off the bench.
Kyle Lowry returned from a one-game absence Monday night and immediately catalyzed the Heat offense. Though he struggled from 3-point range, he dished out eight assists and made several hit-ahead passes to give Miami easy scores.
QB1 is finding everyone tonight pic.twitter.com/OK09fmWRX7— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 26, 2021
Strange as it may sound, Lowry didn’t lead the Heat in assists. Herro actually dished out nine assists in 29 minutes. Both Lowry and Herro struggled shooting the ball — Herro made a driving layup and a bank-shot 3 in the fourth to improve his box score numbers — but both found Butler and Bam Adebayo for easy scores.
Adebayo finished with his third double-double in three games, scoring 16 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The Heat center made eight trips to the foul line, showcasing his aggression.
The Heat will next visit the Brooklyn Nets Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.