The Miami Heat held a five-point lead heading into the fourth quarter against the Golden State Warriors. With Jimmy Butler on the bench, Miami increased their lead to 12 after a Gabe Vincent steal led to an Andre Iguodala fast-break dunk.
Butler came in midway through the fourth quarter and promptly found Nemanja Bjelica for a deep 3-pointer. Bjelica, by the way, played as Adebayo’s backup Thursday night and scored eight points. Precious Achiuwa did not get off the bench.
On Miami’s next possession, Butler found a cutting Duncan Robinson for a layup. With 4:54 left in the game, Iguodala made a 3 over Steph Curry as the shot clock expired to put Miami up 106-93. (Iguodala played a solid game against his former team.) About three minutes later, Butler drove to the basket and passed to Bam Adebayo for an and-one.
Although Curry made nine points on Golden State’s next three trips down to court — two 3s and another time he made all three free throws after getting fouled on a 3 — the Heat held on to win 116-109 and improve to 25-24 on the season. Miami won their third straight game.
Butler again powered the Heat to victory. Butler finished with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field, six rebounds, eight assists and four steals. Butler was particularly aggressive in the third quarter — he went straight to the basket three times in two minutes — to shake off a rough start to the second half.
The two players Pat Riley managed to avoid trading last week, Robinson and Herro, hit their shots. Robinson scored 21 points and shot 8-of-15 from the floor, and only half of his field goals were 3s. He mixed up his game with some nice drives, and even had a nice block. Herro added 20 points off the bench, going 8-of-13 from the field. Herro was effective during a second-quarter run, including connecting on a four-point play.
Though he missed some bunnies and went just 5-of-13 from the field, Adebayo scored 19 points and went a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line. The Heat’s 2017 first-round pick also collected eight rebounds, six assists and played nice defense on Curry in the final 20 seconds. Curry put up an air-ball as Adebayo stayed right with him.
Thursday also marked Victor Oladipo’s debut with Miami. He struggled with foul trouble all night long — Oladipo was whistled for his fifth foul just a minute into the fourth quarter — and didn’t have his jumper going for him. But Oladipo had some moments of great defense, including drawing a charge midway through the third quarter. He also locked up Curry on this possession.
Steph could only laugh after Dipo locked him up pic.twitter.com/jbDyhpzBu2— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 2, 2021
And despite his jumper not falling, Oladipo made a nice Euro-step for a drive early in the third quarter. But his highlight came on a lob pass to Adebayo early in the second.
Soft lob from Vic, absurd finish from Bam. pic.twitter.com/ToKyPivqwo— Couper Moorhead (@CoupNBA) April 2, 2021
Both Kendrick Nunn and Goran Dragic did not play Thursday night. Nunn was cleared to play, but Spoelstra went to Vincent for those backup guard minutes.
The Heat will host the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday at 8 p.m.