Coming off four straight wins, the Heat had a tough challenge in front of them against the NBA’s best team in the Utah Jazz. But with Jimmy and Bam putting on All-Star performances, they delivered their most complete game of the season. Here’s how it went down:
Bam was incredible to start, scoring easy buckets on floaters. The Heat offense was smart in picking their moments, attacking the basket as soon as Gobert subbed out. Despite Miami’s solid play, the game alternated leads multiple times even staying tied for long periods. A testament to the talent on the Utah roster.
The Heat did a very good job controlling the ball to start. In fact, they didn’t have a turnover until the 4-minute mark of the first, but 4 more turnovers to end the quarter made them fall behind slightly.
As usual (well at least recently) the Heat struggled to guard the three-ball. Luckily, they were able to return fire from beyond the arc thanks to strong play by Gabe Vincent, Duncan, and Dragic. In fact, until a mid-range jumper by Jimmy around the 5-minute mark, all of Miami’s second-quarter field goals were threes.
Jimmy was phenomenal in the first half, slicing to the rim and drawing fouls as well as shooting well from the midrange. He helped Miami close out the first half strong, actually doing so with a big dunk. When the Heat offense is surging, they’re the team that went to the Finals last season.
The Heat started the second half off strong, with Bam taking it right to Gobert to get things going.
It was the Bam and Jimmy show, as Miami pushed out to a seven-point lead. Jimmy didn’t let up, attacking hard, and maybe looking a little slighted over the All-Star selections.
Still, the Jazz battled back showing why they’re currently the best team in the NBA. Donovan Mitchell is a special player, his first step and finishing ability is why he received all those DWade comparisons early in his career.
It doesn’t get talked about enough, but Goran’s ability to produce instant offense makes him so valuable to this team. Jimmy and Bam can’t do it by themselves all the time, so Goran’s ability to keep the Heat ahead or in striking distance is huge.
Bam had over nine points in the third, exploiting the Utah defense every time he could. Still the back and forth never stopped keeping things incredibly close, heading into the fourth.
Duncan Robinson, and Andre Iguodala hit huge threes to keep Miami surging, but it was Goran Dragic who was spectacular on offense and defense. Absolutely refusing to let up. Still, Donovan Mitchell, Bogdanovic, and Mike Conley kept things very close, going on a 7-0 scoring run at the worst possible time.
With just over 33 seconds to go, Jimmy drove to the basket and threw up a floater. It would fall, putting Miami up 4. Utah got one more chance, but a missed three and some desperation fouls by the Jazz would seal it up delivering the Heat their fifth straight win and a statement one at that.