Based on the trend, the Heat will blow a 23-point lead on Thursday night against the Houston Rockets.
Because on Monday night, there was a blown 19-point lead, before the Heat scrambled to a victory over the Indiana Pacers to start this four-game trip.
Wednesday night, the Heat topped that, blowing a 21-point lead before recovering for a 111-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder at Paycom Center.
No, not exactly the preferred path for recovery from the depths of the standings.
But apparently no escaping the drama.
“A win is a win is a win is win,” Heat veteran point guard Kyle Lowry said after the Heat blew that 21-point lead but also overcame a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit.
Tyler Herro took care of the closing act, his 19-foot jumper with 4.9 seconds to play putting the Heat up two and the Heat then making a needed final defensive stand.
“The play was drawn up for me to shoot,” Herro said. “Kyle was like, ‘Get him the ball.’ “
At 24 of 56 from beyond the arc, the Heat won with the long ball, setting a franchise record for 3-pointers.
Herro tied his career high with 35 points, shooting 9 of 17 on 3-pointers. Center Bam Adebayo added a 15-point, 13-rebound double-double. Those efforts were needed with Jimmy Butler sitting out with knee soreness.
“We were able to stay with it,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander paced the Thunder with 27 points.
Five Degrees of Heat from Wednesday’s game:
1. Closing time: It was tied 31-31 at the end of the first quarter. The Heat then opened the second period with a 20-2 run, going up by 21, before taking a 64-52 lead into the intermission.
After falling behind by two in the third, the Heat went into the fourth up 86-84.
The Thunder then moved to their seven-point lead midway through the fourth quarter.
From there, a Herro 3-pointer drew the Heat within 103-101 with 3:16 to play, with another Herro 3-pointer tying it with 1:27 to play.
Guard Victory Oladipo followed with a transition layup for a 108-106 lead with 66 seconds left. Fouled on the play, he missed the ensuing free throw.
Then, with 55 seconds left, the Heat challenged an out-of-bounds ruling that went in the Thunder’s favor, winning the challenge.
With 25.7 seconds to play, Gilgeous-Alexander got to the line when Adebayo fouled out, making both for a 108-108 tie.
That’s when Herro took a long inbounds pass into the backcourt, dribbled into space and drained a 19-foot jumper for a 110-108 lead, closing the scoring.
The victory was sealed when Gilgeous-Alexander missed a 19-foot jumper and Josh Giddey was off with a follow-up layup.
“Now we’ve got to keep building on it,” Lowry said, as the Heat won consecutive road games for the first time this season, to improve to 14-15.
2. Herro ball: Given the keys to the offense with Butler out, all nine of Herro’s first-half shots were 3-pointers, converting six. The six 3-pointers set a career high for a half.
An 11-0 run by Herro at the start of the second period gave the Heat a 42-31 lead, with the Heat pushing it to a 20-2 surge.
Herro’s first two-point attempt was an errant driving layup with 9:01 to play in the third quarter.
He went from 20 points in the first half to three in the third.
“I shot 17 3s?” Herro said. “I didn’t even think I could do that.”
At the finish, he did exactly what was needed.
“Just his absolute poise down the stretch,” Spoelstra said.
3. The 3-ball: In closing 24 of 256 on 3-pointers, the Heat not only set a franchise record for conversions, but tied the franchise record for attempts.
Beyond Herro, Lowry was 4 of 9, Duncan Robinson 4 of 8, with Oladipo, Max Strus and Dewayne Dedmon each with a pair of conversions.
“As long as we’re getting good, clean looks, I think things will change for us in terms of percentage,” Spoelstra said going into the game.
That’s how it played out.
“There’s been a little bit more of intent of getting into our actions and finding the open guy without missing our moment,” Spoelstra said afterward. “Our shooters weren’t passing up open 3-point shots.”
4. Further steps: Playing as the Heat’s first reserve, Oladipo provided a solid presence on both ends, closing with 12 points and three steals, on the court for each of the Heat’s decisive defensive sequences.
“I thought his 12-point, three-steal game is as impactful as any could be with that kind of stat line,” Spoelstra said. “He turned the game defensively.”
Now more than a week into his comeback from preseason knee pain, it would appear likely that Oladipo will be held out on the second half of the back-to-back set.
“I’m just getting better and better and stronger and stronger every game,” Oladipo said.
5. Plan B: Effectively serving as the Heat’s universal donor when it comes to replacing sidelined starters, Strus this time filled in for Butler. It was Strus’ 15th start in his 27 appearances.
With Strus elevated from the second unit, it opened bench roles for both Haywood Highsmith and Robinson.
Highsmith had not played in the previous two games. Robinson had been held out of four of the previous six.
“It’s never easy ‚the rotations are fluid and they shift,” Spoelstra said when asked about Robinson. “Bt he always keeps himself ready. We knew at the start of this trip that everybody was going to play a part and it’s still going to happen in these games.”
The trip continues Thursday night in Houston and concludes Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City.