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Heat fall flat in Utah, lose 112-94

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Miami didn’t score even one point for the first six minutes of the third quarter.

Miami Heat v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Miami Heat started their game against the NBA-leading Utah Jazz well, jumping out to a 13-4 lead.

Early in the second quarter, Bam Adebayo made his first two assists of the game — first on a Tyler Herro reverse layup, and then on a Max Strus 3. The Heat held a 36-31 lead with 7:45 left to go.

And then Miami couldn’t muster a point for more than five minutes. Seriously. Jimmy Butler missed a pair of free throws, Andre Iguodala and Tyler Herro badly missed 3s and Miami committed several turnovers. But still, three field goals in the final 1:25 left of the half kept the Heat within 47-42 going into the third quarter.

It turned out Miami’s second-quarter drought wasn’t the worst it would get for the Heat offense. The Heat didn’t score a point until more than halfway through the third quarter, with a Herro pull-up jumper. Utah scored the first 16 points of the second half without a reply, turning a tight game into a blowout. The Heat fell to 11-15 on the season, as the Jazz ended their four-game winning streak.

When Miami has recently gone through scoring droughts recently, Butler has put his head down and earned a trip to the foul line or made a couple buckets. That didn’t happen Saturday, as Butler shot just 2-for-9 from the field. He wasn’t making his short jumpers, and he shot an uncharacteristic 6-for-10 from the foul line.

Aside from Butler’s struggles, Adebayo also wasn’t confident in the mid-range jumper that Rudy Gobert was happy to let him take. After a strong start to the season, Adebayo hasn’t looked as great on his jumper the last several games. Adebayo also missed a couple runners in the lane he should make. He needs to make the mid-range jumper for the Heat to win games against teams like the Jazz.

Adebayo finished 7-for-17 from the floor and didn’t make one trip to the foul line. On the plus side, the Heat’s All-Star center finished with 10 rebounds and six assists.

After missing the Heat’s Thursday win over the Houston Rockets due to the health and safety protocols, Herro was back Saturday night. He shot just 5-for-16 from the field and 2-for-8 from beyond the arc. Utah is a good defensive team, but the Heat getting sub-par offensive performances from Butler, Adebayo and Herro isn’t going to even give them a chance.

Saturday night also marked further relegation of Precious Achiuwa in the rotation. After playing just six minutes against the Rockets, Achiuwa just logged three minutes of action before garbage time against the Jazz. The Heat rookie hasn’t played well lately, and it only further magnifies Miami’s holes in the front-court.

Speaking of which, Kelly Olynyk missed all four of his attempts from downtown. Iguodala missed all three of his 3-point shots. Utah happily left him open on defense, and Iguodala didn’t make them pay.

Miami’s one bright spot? Strus, who went 6-for-9 from the field, including 3-of-6 from downtown. He remains ahead of Moe Harkless in the rotation. Miami may want to find a way to convert his two-way contract into a standard one.