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Heat escape past Jazz 118-115

Miami built a comfortable lead but almost saw it completely vanish before securing the win.

NBA: Utah Jazz at Miami Heat Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

In a battle between two of the best teams in the NBA, the Miami Heat squeaked out a 118-115 victory over the Utah Jazz Saturday evening at FTX Arena in Miami, Fla.

The Jazz entered with the league’s second-best offense (113.2 points per 100 possessions), fourth-best defense (100.3 points allowed per 100 possessions) and second-best NET rating (12.9); the Heat were fifth in offense (111.2), second in defense (98.2) and third in NET rating (12.5).

Miami outscored the Jazz 57-41 in the first 18:40 of the second half. Utah’s immediate 17-3 run trimmed the once-19-point lead to 115-113 with 18.9 seconds left.

Herro split a pair of free throws, making it a three-point game. Gobert’s wide open two-handed slam trimmed it to one, but Butler’s two clutch free throws gave Miami the 118-115 lead with 10.4 seconds to go.

Donovan Mitchell, who had a game-high 37 points on 14-of-28 shooting, missed his final 3-pointer in the waning moments. Lowry secured the board, his 12th (!) — icing the Heat’s seventh victory of the season.

Miami shot 60.3 percent from the floor and 52.4 percent from 3-point range.

Tyler Herro tallied a team-high 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting — including 6-of-8 shooting from deep in 34 minutes off the bench. Kyle Lowry, who was questionable entering Saturday after rolling his ankle in Thursday’s loss, recorded his first career Heat triple-double: He had 20 points with team-highs in rebounds (12) and assists (10).

Jimmy Butler tallied 27 points on an efficient 11-of-15 shooting with six assists. Bam Adebayo finished with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting with six rebounds and dishing out six assists.

The Jazz shot 51.8 percent, including 15-of-45 from distance.

Mitchell’s 37 points marked a season high, doing so on 14-of-28 shooting with seven assists. Royce O’Neale had a season-high 15 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc with six steals.

Bojan Bogdanovic had 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Mike Conley added 18 points with seven assists, netting seven of his 11 attempts.

The Heat (55.7 percent) and Jazz (54.9 percent) were also No. 1 and 2 in the Association in rebounding percentage, respectively. Miami out-rebounded the Jazz 45-35 — the second time all season where Utah’s been out-rebounded.

Saturday’s win improves Miami to 7-2 on the season while the Jazz drop to 7-2.

Robinson, coming off a 5-for-17 3-point shooting performance, netted his first triple of the game — giving Miami the early 12-9 advantage. It would be his only make from deep (on five attempts) of the evening.

Adebayo’s jumper plus two consecutive 3s from Lowry and Herro made it 39-32, prompting a Jazz timeout. Lowry’s turnaround fadeaway increased it to 43-32. Its 12-0 run marked Miami’s largest lead up to that point. O’Neale’s 3-pointer cut the Heat’s lead to 51-47 with 2:23 left in the first half.

The Heat entered halftime ahead 55-52. After beginning 3-of-18 from 3-point range, the Jazz sunk three of its final four attempts from beyond the arc. They shot 77.8 percent (14-18) on 2s and 50 percent overall on the half.

Miami shot 53.7 percent and was 5-of-11 from distance. Four players — Lowry, Butler, Herro and Adebayo — already cracked double-digit point totals entering the break.

Butler’s layup re-upped its lead to 64-54. O’Neale cut it to five, but Adebayo’s putback dunk made it 68-61 with 6:39 left in the third quarter.

Mitchell’s four consecutive baskets trimmed the advantage to 72-69. He and Butler both finished with 12 third-quarter points apiece. The Heat finished the final 2:50 of the period on a 13-4 run, leading 87-78.

Caleb Martin’s wicked up-and-under layup, followed by Herro’s 3-pointer and Markieff Morris’ alley-oop layup increased it to 96-83 — prompting a Jazz timeout.

Herro’s fourth quarter avalanche momentarily opened the flood gates. His sixth triple followed by two more jumpers widened it to 112-93 with 5:20 left.

In a blink of an eye, Utah strung together a 17-3 run — cutting it to 115-113 — but it wasn’t enough, rewarding the Heat with a significant bounce-back victory.

Up next: Miami kicks off a five-game road trip, beginning with the Denver Nuggets on Monday, Nov. 8. Tip-off will be at 9:00 p.m. EST.