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Heat bounce back, edge Spurs 116-111

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Miami went on a 15-0 run to close the third quarter.

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images

Similar to the Miami Heat’s Monday night loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Heat found themselves in a tight game hosting the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday. A Jakob Poeltl layup cut Miami’s lead to 111-108. On the other end of the court, Bam Adebayo grabbed a huge offensive rebound and converted on an and-one to put the Heat up 114-108 with 51 seconds left.

After a Spurs time-out, Rudy Gay knocked down a 3-pointer. Miami needed one more score to have some breathing room. And Jimmy Butler used some clock before attempting a fade-away jumper. Although the shot missed, Poeltl hit Butler’s wrist and was called for a foul. Gregg Popovich challenged the call, but it was unsuccessful.

Butler made both free throws, and the Heat won 116-111 to sweep the season series with San Antonio. And Miami remained tied with the Boston Celtics for the sixth seed.

This game turned late in the third quarter, when the Spurs held a seven-point lead and Miami’s offensive looked out of sorts. But the Heat ended the third on a 15-0 run. Dewayne Dedmon was huge during the run, scoring six points. He’s been an amazing find for Miami.

Miami even continued the run when Butler checked out of the game thanks to five points in the final 32 seconds of the quarter from Goran Dragic. Dragic and Dedmon each scored 18 points off the bench for the Heat. Dragic made four 3-pointers — huge because Duncan Robinson struggled with foul trouble and only hit two — while Dedmon offered nine rebounds in just 16 minutes to go along with his nice finishes.

Butler followed up his 33-point performance on Monday with 29 points on 11-of-23 shooting from the field, a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line, eight rebounds and six assists. Midway through the fourth quarter, the five-time All-Star scored eight points on three consecutive possessions — two and-ones and a layup. His scoring and finds to Dedmond helped power the Heat in that third quarter and hold the lead in the fourth.

Adebayo added 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the foul line along with 11 rebounds. Early in the fourth, the Heat center made a thunderous dunk over Poeltl that has to rank as one of his best of the season.

Miami’s 2017 first-round pick was aggressive all night — what Miami needs him to be. And Erik Spoelstra made a great move to challenge a second-quarter charge call on Adebayo that would have been his third foul. The challenge was successful, and Adebayo took two free throws instead of having to sit the rest of the way.

Kendrick Nunn returned from his one-game absence and scored eight points in the first six minutes of the game. Having another quality shot-maker on the court made such a difference tonight. Nunn finished with 18 points, including a big 3 with 4:16 left to go that put Miami up 10.

The Heat will next visit the Cleveland Cavaliers Saturday night at 8 p.m.