Heat move to .500 for first time, rally from 13 down in fourth for 113-112 victory over Suns – The Denver Post


The break from harrowing, frenetic, dramatic finishes lasted exactly one night.

Monday night, the cardiac Miami Heat were back at it, this time in a 113-112 victory over the visiting Phoenix Suns.

In a season when seemingly only the final buzzer has decided the Heat’s outcomes, with Saturday night’s blowout of the lowly Charlotte Hornets a rare exception, it was back to the heart-stopping heartbeat of the season.

This time there was a 13-point deficit with 7:31 to play. And then it was a two-point lead with 1:38 to go on a Kyle Lowry 3-pointer.

From there, attack mode from Bam Adebayo, dogged defense from Jimmy Butler, and, for the first time this season, a .500 record, at 7-7 going into a four-game trip.

Adebayo and Butler each closed with double-doubles, Adebayo with 30 points and 10 rebounds, Butler with 16 and 13. There also were 15 points apiece from Lowry and Caleb Martin, with all three Heat reserves seeing action – Gabe Vincent, Duncan Robinson and Dewayne Dedmon – each scoring in double figures.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 25 points.

Five Degrees of Heat from Monday’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat fell behind by 13 early in the fourth quarter, before then rallying within 102-99 with 5:18 to play on a series of acrobatic 3-point plays by Adebayo. An Adebayo transition dunk then made it 102-101.

Then, still in a one-point game, Booker stepped up with a three-point play with 2:43 to play to put Phoenix up 107-103.

On the other end, the Heat’s Martin followed with a 3-pointer of his own to draw the Heat within 107-106, with a Lowry 3-pointer with 1:38 to go giving the Heat a 109-107 lead.

But with a Booker 3-pointer and a Cameron Payne jumper, it ultimately was 112-111 Suns with 46.6 seconds to play.

Then, Adebayo got the line with 35 seconds to go, with his free throws putting the Heat up 113-112.

The Heat then won off a solid defensive stand by Butler and a missed Booker 3-point attempt just before the buzz.

2. Before that: The Heat led 35-31 after the first quarter, with their 7 of 10 on 3-pointers giving them their high for 3-pointers in a period this season. There then only were two more threes in the second period, with the Heat taking a 58-57 lead into the intermission,

The Suns then went up 11 in the third quarter before the Heat moved within 91-84 going into the fourth, after an unlikely pair of Dewayne Dedmon 3-pointers.

3. Butler can: Butler continues to step up to challenges as required, this time with a season high in rebounds.

No sooner did Butler check back in with 7:44 to play, then the Heat went on a 10-0 run.

All the while, Butler took the defensive challenge against Booker.

The question now becomes whether the Heat can afford to continue to ask so much on a nightly basis from their 33-year-old leader this early in the season.

With Tyler Herro again out and Max Strus scoreless through three periods, it only further upped the challenge.

4. Still out: It was a fourth consecutive game for the Heat without Herro, who continues to take treatment on a balky ankle sprain.

“You just never know with ankle sprains,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re never on necessarily your timeline. So he just doesn’t have the mobility yet. But he is getting better, making progress.”

The next marker will be whether Herro is on the team flight Tuesday to Toronto, the first stop of a four-game trip.

5. Under the knife: Center Omer Yurtseven confirmed pregame to the Sun Sentinel that he will undergo surgery Tuesday for the fractured bone spur on his left ankle.

Yurtseven said he tried to manage the injury, but that surgery became inevitable.

He said a recovery timetable will not be determined until after the process. He is expected to miss at least three months.



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