After a pedestrian start, the Miami Heat’s eruption over the final three quarters led to its 119-98 blowout victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in the first night of a back-to-back Wednesday.
The Heat only trailed by three after the first quarter, but their offense couldn’t find any rhythm, starting just 4-of-15 from the floor. The starters failed to impose their will immediately preceding the tip; Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro combined to score six points on 1-10 shooting in the first 12 minutes.
But the script eventually flipped. Miami outscored Portland by 16 — 66-50 — over the following two quarters that gave them the 13-point advantage heading into the final quarter. The Heat controlled the pace the rest of the way en-route to its 21-point win, moving to 2-3 on the season and snapping Portland’s 4-0 start to begin the 2022-23 season.
Miami had six players total at least 14 points, topped by Bam Adebayo with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe. That came in addition to eight boards, three assists and one steal. Butler and Lowry added 17 points apiece, but in different fashions.
All five of Lowry’s field goals came from beyond the arc on seven 3-point attempts, looking confident and aggressive when he was open. Conversely, Butler played bully-ball with Portland, having all seven of his field goals on the interior, though he did leak out for a couple of transition baskets, too. Lowry added two rebounds, six assists, one steal and one block, while Butler tallied five boards, five assists with two steals on 7-of-15 shooting.
In his return from a one-game suspension, Caleb Martin had his best performance of the season by far. He finished with 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting with a pair of triples plus eight rebounds, three assists and a team-high four steals, tying a career-high. All night, he was crashing the boards, applying good pressure on Damian Lillard at the point-of-attack (in man and zone), featured active hands in the passing lanes and even had a couple of highlight-reel dunks in transition.
Gotta see the replay on this Caleb slam pic.twitter.com/moQpA759CV— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 27, 2022
SHEESH pic.twitter.com/NO78YbLbYy— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) October 27, 2022
Max Strus tallied 16 points with four 3-pointers on 6-of-11 shooting, though he also hauled-in a team-high nine rebounds with three assists and two steals. Tyler Herro got off to a so-so start shooting-wise, but finished with 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting with four boards while dishing out four dimes.
We saw Nikola Jovic make his NBA debut, coming in midway through the second quarter in lieu of Bam Adebayo getting in foul trouble and Dewayne Dedmon underwhelming during his stints. While Jovic picked up four early fouls in five minutes, he finished with 14 minutes and two points on 1-of-3 shooting.
Lillard, who exited the game early with calf strain, posted a Blazers-most 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting; rookie wing Shaedon Sharpe was second in scoring with 15 points and eight boards, canning five of his 12 attempts; Anfernee Simons had 14 points with three triples on 12 total shot attempts.
Miami had its best shooting outing of the season, with four players — Martin, Lowry, Tyler Herro and Strus — recording multiple 3-pointers; collectively, Miami shot 15-of-38 (39.5 percent) from deep.
But it was all buoyed by the bench unit — led by Vincent and Strus — in the opening half, after the squad’s lackluster start. The duo combined for 19 first-half points. Strus leading the Heat in scoring with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting with three triples, lighting a spark within the Heat offense from distance. From there, it was a collective effort. Especially Butler helping catalyze Miami’s transition attack in the second quarter to give it the 5-point lead, 61-56, heading into halftime.
Miami had complete control of the
turnt, not turd third quarter, outside of the first two Portland possessions, which were a pair of Lillard and Simons triples. It followed with a 19-9 run and didn’t look back, leading by at least eight points the remainder of the game.
Next up: Heat travel to San Francisco to take on the reigning champion Golden State Warriors Thursday night. Tip off will be at 10:00 p.m. ET.