Jimmy Butler scores 24, Heat hold off Jazz 119-115
MIAMI (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 24 points to lead seven Miami players in double figures, Tyler Herro and Gabe Vincent each scored 18 and the Heat held off the Utah Jazz 119-115 on Monday night.
Bam Adebayo scored 16 for Miami, while Victor Oladipo and Kevin Love each had 11 and Caleb Martin scored 10.
Lauri Markkanen scored 38 for Utah, which got 23 from Simone Fontecchio and 14 from Ochai Agbaji. Miami was 31 for 36 from the foul line, compared with 13 for 18 for the Jazz.
Talen Horton-Tucker put Utah on top with a short jumper with 1:16 left, and Herro gave Miami the lead right back on a 3-pointer with 55.3 seconds remaining. It stayed a two-point game until the final seconds; Agbaji missed a short shot in the lane that was contested by Adebayo, who got the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws with six seconds left to seal the win.
Clutch games are defined by the NBA as those within five points with five minutes remaining in regulation, and nobody has played more of them this season than Miami and Utah. This was the 50th for the Heat, the 46th for the Jazz.
And this was so on brand for both teams.
There were 13 lead changes in the fourth quarter alone, after there were only five of them – and five ties – in the first 36 minutes. Miami is now 28-22 in clutch games, Utah 20-26.
The win also gave Miami a bit of breathing room over Atlanta in the race for the No. 7 spot in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks (34-35) lost to Minnesota while Miami (37-33) moved 2 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta — and Miami also owns the tiebreaker if necessary.
Jazz: Former Miami forward Kelly Olynyk, a starter for the Jazz, got the traditionally warm introduction reserved for past Heat players — instead of a far-more-subdued announcement that most everyone else gets when lineups were announced. ... Utah now has four full days off — a rarity in the NBA outside of the All-Star break — then resumes play Saturday against Boston.
Heat: Cody Zeller (broken nose) did not play. He got hurt Saturday at Orlando. ... Caleb Martin (left knee soreness) played after sitting out Saturday. ... Vincent remained in the starting lineup, with Kyle Lowry coming off the bench at point guard.
2 WITH 20
Markkanen (21) and Fontecchio (20) were the first Jazz teammates to have at least 20 points by halftime since Donovan Mitchell and Jordan Clarkson did it against the Los Angeles Clippers on June 18, 2021, in a playoff contest.
Jazz: Host Boston on Saturday.
Heat: Host Memphis on Wednesday.
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Tim Reynolds, The Associated Press