Death, taxes and the Miami Heat playing clutch games.
In Miami’s league-leading 40th clutch game, it was able to outlast its intrastate foe, the Orlando Magic, in overtime 107-103 inside the Amway Center Saturday evening.
Miami trailed by as much as nine with 2:34 left in regulation, but seven consecutive points from Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent and Jimmy Butler cut it to 95-93 with 1:12 left. Banchero’s off-balance, one-handed floater to beat the shot-clock put Orlando up four, but the Heat countered courtesy of a Bam Adebayo backdoor feed to Butler with over 30 seconds left. Gabe Vincent nailed a pair of free-throws to send it into overtime, where Miami outscored Orlando 10-6 — including five from Herro alone.
Saturday night marked the Heat’s ninth straight win in the state of Florida, including their second win over the Magic this season.
The Heat, who limited Butler’s minutes to 28 Friday, weren’t able to as planned on Saturday because of the game going into overtime; he played 34 minutes, finishing with 22 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks, shooting 7-of-17 and sinking all eight of his free throw attempts.
Miami had four other double figure scorers, led by Tyler Herro. Herro finished with 23 points on 10-of-23 shooting. Bam Adebayo notched a 13-point, 17-rebound double-double; ; Gabe Vincent finished with 20 points while Max Strus tallied 12 points, both knocking down four 3s apiece.
The Magic featured six double figure scorers, led by Markelle Fultz, who finished with 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting. Banchero had 16 points and 13 rebounds in 34 minutes; Wendell Carter, Jalen Suggs and Mo Wagner all had 14 points apiece while Franz Wagner posted a 10-point outing.
Saturday’s rock fight was an offensive grind each time down for both teams; Miami recorded just 104.9 points per 100 possessions (22nd percentile), while Orlando logged 102 points per 100 (14th percentile), per Cleaning The Glass; in the halfcourt, the Heat logged 90.6 points per 100 plays (31st percentile) to the Magic’s 88.9 (26th).
Entering the weekend with the 10th-lowest turnover rate heading into the game, they turned the rock over 19 times that led to 24 Magic points. Orlando’s lengthy switch-heavy defensive attack overwhelmed Miami, preventing them from getting downhill most of the night; when it did get to the rim, most of the success came on cuts and attacking creases, but it only took 20 percent shots at the rim.
Even with the overtime result, Saturday marked Miami’s 32nd game with 110 or fewer points — most in the NBA — and despite the lackluster two-and-a-half quarters, Erik Spoelstra was right: Fans got their money’s worth, again.
In the end, a win is a win. Not all are pretty. And the Heat look to continue to crawl their way to the All-Star break with two more games, beginning with the one-seeded Denver Nuggets on Monday.