Heat stunned by Blazers’ 3 at buzzer in 110-107 loss – The Denver Post


The Miami Heat had to try it a different way, with Tyler Herro and his all-or-nothing theatrics not available Monday night due to an ankle sprain.

So after blowing a 15-point lead to the Portland Blazers and falling behind in the fourth quarter, the Heat had to turn elsewhere.

This wasn’t going to be Herro for the win, as it was on Thursday night against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday night, or Herro coming up short at the buzzer, as it was Friday night on the road against the Indiana Pacers.

No, this was the Heat lacking a leading man and coming up short for the fourth time in seven home games, this time by a 110-107 count.

That doesn’t mean there weren’t theatrics.

There were, first with the Heat’s Max Strus tying it with a 3-pointer with 6.2 seconds to play, and then with Portland’s Josh Hart winning it with a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

While the Blazers got 25 points from Anfernee Simons, 23 from Jerami Grant and 19 from Damian Lilliard, the Heat got middling scoring across the board, with 16 points apiece from Strus, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, 15 apiece from Gabe Vincent and Kyle Lowry, and 10 from Dewayne Dedmon.

Five Degrees of Heat from Monday’s game:

1. Closing time: After a 28-28 tie after the first quarter, the Heat moved to a 60-53 halftime lead. They then pushed a 15-point third-quarter lead, before going into the fourth up 81-73.

From there, the Blazers closed within 84-80 with 9:37 to play.

The Heat again pushed their lead into double digits, but it was down to five with 3:46 to play and with 2:21 to play it was tied 98-98 after a driving Lillard layup.

Then, after after Butler turned and banked in a layup for a 100-98 Heat lead, the Blazers’ Simons converted a three-point play for a 101-100 Portland lead.

Back came the Heat, with Vincent getting to the line with 1:26 left and making both foul shots for a 102-101 Heat lead.

Lillard then tied its 102-102 with 1:11 to play by making only the second of two free throws.

Then it was Butler to the line with 52.9 seconds left, his free throws putting the Heat up 104-102.

But a Simons 3-pointer with 29 seconds to play gave Portland a 105-104 lead.

2. Key review: Then came a critical review, with Simons called for a foul against Adebayo with 11.1 seconds to go.

The challenge was successful, with an offensive foul instead on Adebayo.

Simons then got to the line with 8.5 seconds left, making both free throws for a 107-104 lead.

The Heat then called timeout.

But after Strus converted his 3-pointer, Portland’s Hart followed with one in transition for the win.

3. Lowry leads: This was something far closer to the expectations with Lowry, offering a needed contribution off the boards, while also confidently orchestrating the offense and converting timely 3-pointers.

And, yes, a moment of feistiness that drew a second-quarter technical foul.

The quintessential Lowy moment might have been his 3-point play with 6:15 to play, when he threw his ample body into massive Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic to draw a foul and then threw in an off-balance basket.

4. Grand theft: The Heat forced 13 Blazers first-half turnovers, with Butler lurking for pick-six steals, with five of the Heat’s first 10 steals. Butler had six steals earlier this season in the road loss to Golden State.

It was part of Butler again filling the boxscore, back after missing two games with hip soreness.

5. Strus again: Strus started his third consecutive game, this time for sidelined Herro, after starting the previous two in place of Butler. Strus had also started earlier in the season for Caleb Martin, when Martin was suspended for a game against the Toronto Raptors.

Herro was out with an ankle sprain sustained in the first half of Friday night’s road loss to the Indiana Pacers.

“He’s been making progress, and that’s the important thing,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’ll be a short-term deal. How long he’ll be out? I don’t know. But he’s already feeling a little bit better.”

The Heat also were without Victor Oladipo (knee), Omer Yurtseven (ankle), Udonis Haslem (personal reasons) and Jamal Cain (G League).



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