It would be too simplistic to say the Miami Heat have a winning formula.

Not with just about every game going to the final buzzer and enough losses to have them mired at No. 7 in the Eastern Conference standings.

But Monday night’s 119-115 victory over the Utah Jazz at Miami-Dade Arena might have been as close as they could come.

With Jimmy Butler scoring when needed.

Tyler Herro converting a key shot at a moment of truth.

And Bam Adebayo stepping up with the defense play of the night at the finish.

So a much-needed win, a bit more distance created ahead of No. 8 Atlanta, and perhaps confidence of better moments ahead.

Butler led the Heat with 24 points, bullying his way to a 13-of-15 finish from the foul line.

Herro, although 2 of 10 on 3-pointers, made one when needed most with 55 seconds to play to put the Heat ahead for good.

And then when the Jazz had a chance to tie with 6.9 seconds left, Adebayo came up with a blocked shot and secured the decisive rebound, closing out the scoring with a pair of free throws.

In addition to Butler’s 24, the Heat got 18 points apiece from Herro and Gabe Vincent, as well 16 from Adebayo.

The Jazz got 38 points from Lauri Markkanen, with Simone Fontecchio adding 23 for Utah.

Five Degrees of Heat from Monday’s game:

1. For starters: The Heat led 33-26 at the end of the opening period but then went down eight in the second period before closing the first half down 57-56. From there, it was tied 90-90 going into the fourth.

The Heat pushed to a five-point lead early in the fourth, but the Jazz came back to retake the lead before Butler tied it 111-111 with 4:33 to play, Butler later putting the Heat up 114-113 with a 3-pointer with 3:34 remaining.

Several empty possessions followed on both ends, including a pair of missed Butler free throws, before Utah moved to a 115-114 lead with 1:16 to play on a Talen Horton-Tucker jumper.

But Herro then stepped into his 3-pointer off a Butler assist for a 117-115 Heat lead.

The Heat then won a coach’s challenge that resulted in a Jazz offensive foul with 46 seconds left.

And then a moment of truth after a Herro turnover, when Adebayo came up with his defensive stop in the paint.

2. Hair raising: Butler came out at the start with a hairstyle that …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Butler, Herro, Adebayo step up late as Heat stave off Jazz 119-115

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