The Heat leave Nevada with a 2-3 record in the Vegas Summer League — dropping three straight — and 4-3 overall. The Mavericks, who were winless in their first four games, depart 1-4.
Here are my four takeaways from Tuesday’s loss:
1. Dallas down to seven players
Here were Dallas’ seven players available:
- Carlik Jones
- Nate Hinton (first half only)
- LJ Figueroa
- Feron Hunt
- Robert Franks
- Devontae Shuler
- Devonte Patterson
Every player, aside from Hinton, played at least 24 of the 40 available minutes; five played at least 30 with two playing at least 35.
Dallas was lacking playable bodies, though it gave those available more of an opportunity to shine.
The Mavericks were led by Jones, who posted 21 points on 6-of-14 shooting, connecting on both of his 3-pointers. He added six rebounds — tying Hunt and Figueroa for a team-high — with a team-most five assists.
Three other players — Shuler (16), Franks (18), and Hunt (10) — tallied double-figure scoring.
As a team, the Mavericks went 34.2 percent and 28.2 percent from the 3-point range, though it made 20-of-21 (95.2 percent) from the charity stripe. They dished out 15 assists compared to just six turnovers.
2. Miami’s late surge falls just short
After both teams got off to relatively slow shooting starts, Dallas’ second-quarter surge awarded it a 17-point lead with a minute to go in the half and a 15-point lead entering halftime.
Miami opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run — cutting the deficit to eight points — though it failed to slice the lead even more. Jones’ layup followed by Franks’ triple re-upped it to 13 with just under 4:30 remaining.
But, understandably so, fatigue began setting in.
The Heat, down 13 entering the final period, continued to fight back. They went on an 11-3 run from 7:44 to the 3:47 mark — trimming it to 76-73.
KZ Okpala’s 3-pointer put Miami ahead 80-79 — its first since the opening quarter — with 1:29 to go. Hunt’s two free-throw conversions re-gave Dallas the lead, but Potter’s putback layup awarded the Heat an 82-81 lead with 26 seconds to go.
Jones failed to convert his final two layup attempts, but Hunt’s second-chance go-ahead putback with 12 seconds remaining was the decider! DeJon Jarreau’s contested lay-in attempt didn’t come close, ending its sizeable comeback attempt that fell juuuuust short.
3. Seeking production elsewhere
The Heat were without Omer Yurtseven, Max Strus, and Marcus Garrett for Tuesday’s game. They were also without Gabe Vincent, who didn’t appear in any of the Heat’s seven Summer League contests.
Without three of their best Summer League players, they were forced to find production elsewhere.
Okpala manifested his best performance in Vegas. Okpala, who entered Tuesday shooting 23.5 percent from the floor and 3-point range, tallied a team-high 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
Micah Potter was second in scoring but was one of two players to record double-doubles. He accumulated 15 points with 10 boards, netting 7-of-12 of his shots. He added a steal with five blocks in the nail-biting loss. Jarreau had 12 points on 5-of-11 shooting to go with 10 rebounds.
4. A mid-week meeting....at the rim
In Yurtseven’s absence, rim protection was still present. Potter posted five blocks, though none were as good as this:
Was this Miami’s best highlight throughout the Summer League? Comment your thoughts below.
If you want to see more of Matt’s Heat takes and more incessant sports-centric tweets, follow him on Twitter @mph_824.