Bam Adebayo gave all he had.
These days for the Miami Heat it often takes more.
Again shorthanded, this time playing in the injury absences of Jimmy Butler, Max Strus, Gabe Vincent and Duncan Robinson, among others, Erik Spoelstra’s team once again had a fight to the finish.
There also is nothing new about that.
So down to the wire it went for the second time in three nights against the visiting Washington Wizards, this time the Heat escaping with a 110-107 victory Friday night.
“The level of competition in those moments of truth, it’s not like it’s shocking us or putting us in any anxiety,” Spoelstra said. “This is our norm.”
On a night he dominated, Adebayo scored five consecutive late critical points to extend the Heat’s home winning streak to five.
Adebayo led the Heat with a season-high 38 points, three off his career high, along with 12 rebounds.
“Bam was Mr. Reliable,” Spoelstra said. “He has been Mr. Reliable all season long. Through all the adversity, he is the guy we’ve been able to count on.”
Adebayo was part of a dynamic pick-and-roll game with Tyler Herro, who finished with 10 assists and 11 points.
The Heat also got 13 points, eight assists and seven rebounds from Kyle Lowry, as well as 20 points, including a pair of closing free throws, from Caleb Martin.
“That’s something they’ve been developing for a while,” Spoelstra said of the Herro-Adebayo pick and roll. “It’s the most efficient two-many action we have.”
Bradley Beal, who sat out the Heat’s Wednesday night victory over the Wizards due to a thigh contusion, and Kyle Kuzma each scored 28 for the Wizards.
Five Degrees of Heat from Friday’s game:
1. Closing time: The Heat trailed 38-28, after allowing the Wizards to shoot .667 in the opening period and went into the intermission down 59-56, when they were 3 of 12 on 3-pointers.
It then was all squared at 85-85 going into the fourth quarter.
Eventually, a Herro 3-pointer put the Heat up 99-98 with 4:23 to play.
Then, after the Heat went down three, Lowry stepped up with four-point play with 3:15 left for a 103-102 Heat lead.
Later, with 1:37 to go, Adebayo converted a pair of free throws for a 106-105 Heat lead.
That score held until Adebayo rolled in for a layup off a Lowry assist for a 108-105 lead with 21.4 seconds to play.
Beal dunked off the Wizards ensuing possession off their final timeout, to bring Washington within 108-07.
Martin then was sent to the line with 12.5 seconds left, converting both free throws for a 110-107 Heat lead, immediately then defending Beal from getting a clean look at a 3-pointer, as the buzzer sounded.
“Down the stretch there were a lot of guys putting their fingerprints on it,” Spoelstra said.
2. All Adebayo: A game after Lowry scored 14 in the first quarter and 24 in the first half for the Heat on Wednesday night against the Wizards, Adebayo this time was up to 18 points at the end of the opening period, on 8-of-9 shooting.
It was the second-highest scoring quarter of Adebayo’s career, behind only a 19-point first quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers on Nov. 11 last season. Adebayo entered averaging 18.8 points per game.
Adebayo was up to 22 points at halftime, on 9-of-11 shooting, and had 26 going into the fourth.
He then added those critical 12 fourth-quarter points.
“There’s just an assertiveness that we’ve been working on, that he’s been working on,” Spoelstra said. “I think everything just happened with a great flow.”
3. Martin pushes through: Listed as doubtful early in the day due to illness, Martin again provided energy at moments when post-Thanksgiving lethargy otherwise appeared to set in for the Heat.
A game after scoring 24 in Wednesday night’s victory over the Wizards, Martin was up to 17 points going into the fourth quarter Friday.
The game was Martin’s 150th of Martin’s career. His first rebound was the 500th of his career.
“Caleb just stacked another phenomenal winning game,” Spoelstra said. “He does so many things for this team.”
4. Rolling roster: With Butler, Strus and Robinson sidelined, the latter two absences not announced until the hours before tip, Spoelstra said it all is part of ongoing adjusting on the fly.
“To be honest,” Spoelstra said, “the exercise of preparing, it has been normalized for the last couple of years. And I don’t say that in jest or lightly. I think everybody in the league has gone through some version of this, whether it was COVID-related or COVID plus injuries, all of these things. But this is the world we’ve been living in for a couple of years.”
5. Roster move: Prior to the game, the Heat announced the return of guard Dru Smith on a two-way contract and the waiving of center Orlando Robinson from his two-way contact.
“Actually we’re encouraged by both of them,” Spoelstra said. “And in a perfect world, we’re going to be able to develop both of them all season long.
“These are extreme circumstances right now. We have obviously some guys out. We feel right now, which is different than a week or two ago, we need some more reinforcement at the perimeter positions.”
The moves came with backup center Dewayne Dedmon cleared to play through his foot pain, and with Vincent dealing with the ongoing knee pain that kept him out Friday night.
Smith, in fact, was part of the Heat’s first substitution, along with Haywood Highsmith.