The Miami Heat picked up a much-needed win and snapped a three-game losing skid with a 111-105 victory against the Utah Jazz on Saturday. But what could have been an easy blowout victory was instead decided by a narrow margin after the Jazz reeled off 18 unanswered points in the closing minutes.
Miami ended up with the win even after being outscored 36-16 in the final quarter, with the game finally decided with a pair of clutch free throws by Tyler Herro. All five Heat starters scored in double-figures with Jimmy Butler again sidelined with a right ankle sprain for the second game in a row. Herro, who replaced Butler in the starting lineup, led the Heat with 27 points on 10-23 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and two assists.
Kyle Lowry thankfully found his scoring touch again with 21 points, even after exiting the game briefly in the first quarter after taking a charge, and also chipped in six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 35 minutes. Bam Adebayo, who was placed on the injury list earlier today with swelling in his knee, contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Duncan Robinson was deadly beyond the arc with six 3-pointers en route to 22 points and team-leading +20.
Those six 3s from Duncan were absolutely clutch today. pic.twitter.com/8zwv35AhTd— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) November 14, 2021
Utah has now lost four of their last five games, with two of them against the Heat despite outscoring them by a whopping margin to close both games.
There are stats ... and then ... there are stats.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) November 14, 2021
The Jazz outscored the Heat 42-10 in the last 5 minutes of games this season.
The Heat went 2-0 in those games.
Even without Butler, the Heat raced out to an early lead with a quick 12-0 run and an eventual 16-point lead but it was quickly erased almost single-handedly by Jordan Clarkson by the end of the first quarter after scoring 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting — including 11 straight points. It got chippy as well with Rudy Gobert, fresh off a confrontation with Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers, and Dewayne Dedmon getting technical fouls.
Despite Clarkson’s mini-run to cut the deficit to three points, the Heat built up another double-digit lead in the second quarter with a 16-3 run. Though the Jazz would cut that lead to single-digits before halftime, the Heat continued to control the game in the second half to lead by as many as 27 points. They were up by 22 with five minutes left when the Jazz erupted for their huge run. Bojan Bogdanovic scored on a layup to cut the lead to 109-105 with 14.5 seconds left before Herro sealed the win.
Despite Miami’s best efforts, the game came down to Utah simply running out of time in the final minutes to almost steal it. It’s difficult to imagine this happening with Butler on the court, but still quite concerning nonetheless — even if Miami was able to sweep the season series against Utah and stop the bleeding during their disappointing road trip.
Hopefully this represents the team turning it around and they’re able to finish their weeklong road trip on a more positive note against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.