The Miami Heat defeat LeBron James and the visiting LA Lakers 112-98, improving to 18-17 on the season. Miami is above the .500 mark for the second time this year and head into the 5 game road trip winners of back to back outings. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo were originally listed as questionable this morning but ended up being good to go. Kyle Lowry was a late scratch due to personal reasons but Gabe Vincent got the starting nod and was solid.
#HEATWin final - Miami 112, LA Lakers 98— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
Butler: 27pts, 6stls, 5rebs & 4rebs
Adebayo: 23pts & 14rebs
Herro: 18pts, 9asts & 4rebs
Martin: 13pts (5/6 FGM) & 6rebs
Vincent: 12pts pic.twitter.com/fzPC0PZo6q
The Lakers got destroyed in the turnover category, suffering 24 turnovers compared to the Heat’s 5. Those 5 marked a season best for Miami, as they took care of the basketball and played strong defense on the other end as well. With no Lowry, coach Erik Spoelstra went with a starting group of Vincent, Tyler Herro, Butler, Caleb Martin and Bam.
The three guys of the core four in Butler, Adebayo and Herro played terrific on both ends of the floor. Jimmy was getting to all his spots right in his wheel house majority of the night, including some clutch plays down the stretch.
When Jimmy takes over, just get out the way. pic.twitter.com/uIsyRQeHgs— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
There were several buckets off of spin moves to the basket and some really crafty ones too. That ankle that kept him out the last game and a half didn’t seem to bother him at all tonight.
The 6 steals from Butler is something that can’t not be talked about. His impact is a complete game changer, and his energy, effort getting into passing lines, and disrupting opposing team’s offense is ELITE.
Very interesting stuff!— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) December 29, 2022
I asked Jimmy Butler tonight about hitting passing lanes, and when it started
“Richard Hamilton taught me at a young age, because I wasn’t that good, nobody wanted to pass me the ball.”
“He always told me if you want to score, play good defense.”
Did y'all catch that Jimmy had 6 steals— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
Adebayo was a whole other beast out there… finishing with an effortless 23 point, 14 rebound double double to go along with 2 blocks and an efficient 10/16 shooting. He was throwing down crushing slams all night long.
Bam gave exactly what we needed, including a few dynamic slams pic.twitter.com/q7bKtQRNa7— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
Tyler Herro, although struggled a little bit again offensively, still found ways to make a big impact. He recorded 9 assists with his 18 points, in which 3 of those points came from a dagger 3 pointer off a Jimmy assist late in the 4th. It’s encouraging to see the continued improvement in Herro’s all around game…. the 9 assists was especially big with the team’s starting PG out.
Add this to the list of clutch Tyler shots pic.twitter.com/4VkocMqCBG— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
The main guys got some help from the role players as Caleb, Vincent and Duncan Robinson all had some timely buckets.
Caleb was finding his spot and letting it fly pic.twitter.com/6vhSSfBq3Z— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 29, 2022
With Robinson’s two 3’s tonight, he comes closer to breaking the franchise all time leading 3 point record.
Miami led for pretty much most the night, but took their foot off the gas a little in the 4th quarter. The Lakers were able to bring a 20+ point lead down to single digits, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. The Heat responded well to that little Laker’s run, and defeated King James back in his old stomping grounds.
Jimmy Buckets and the Heat will look to get in a groove and win 3 in a row with a Friday night match up in Denver.