Jimmy returned in this one and made his presence known immediately as he deflected passes and acted as an all-around defensive nuisance. Miami’s offense was anemic to start this one off going 0/4 until Jimmy found Bam for a dunk. This was only the ninth time this year that Jimmy, Bam, and Herro started together so the rust was apparent at least early on. Jimmy looked spry though, easily getting to the hoop and showing that he still has some strong dunks in his bag. The Heat was able to take an early lead, but it wasn’t by much as Miami struggled to connect on three-point looks. Brooklyn took advantage of this to take the lead on a 12-2 run. Brooklyn’s defense frustrated Miami, making it hard for them to find a true rhythm. There was some success with the Duncan and Bam two-man game, but it wasn’t enough. The Heat ended the first quarter down six (which wasn’t horrible considering they didn’t score a three).
The Heat struggled at everything to start the second playing less-than-inspired defense and forcing looks on defense. However, things changed slightly after a spectacular slam by Bam Adebayo off an alley-oop pass from Duncan.
It wasn’t enough as the Heat found itself down 13 (which will happen when you’re shooting 26% from the field) with no answers for the Nets on either end. Dennis Smith Jr. was an absolute menace throughout the first half, picking the pocket of Tyler Herro and others for 3+ steals. With Miami struggling massively, Jimmy went to work scoring his signature buckets at the logo and setting up his teammates on drives. With Jimmy driving, the Heat offense suddenly showed life cutting the lead to single digits. This wouldn’t last as Brooklyn fought back wrapping up Miami’s worst half of the season. The Heat entered the second half down 14 while shooting 26% from the field and 0% (YEP THAT’S A ZERO) from three.
Miami continued to flounder to start the half, but a three from Herro sparked signs of life. He’d follow that one up immediately with another to cut the lead to 10.
With a Bam block leading to a Butler dunk, suddenly it seemed as if momentum had shifted. The Heat was finally showing hustle and it reflected in the score as they cut the lead to four. Suddenly Tyler was balling, and the Heat was on a 12-0 run and looking like the team we’ve become accustomed to seeing. It’s worth noting Tyler’s aggressiveness on defense, obviously frustrated by his play in the first half – Tyler was energetic and effective on the defensive end to start the second. If people could stop including his name in hypothetical trades on Twitter, they might notice the improvements he’s made this season. Miami managed to tie things up and later take the lead albeit briefly as the defense picked up and pressured Brooklyn on nearly every shot. With the Heat hitting threes (we see you Caleb) and Jimmy getting to the line the Heat were finally dictating things and would ride that wave into the fourth quarter with loud “Let’s go Heat!” chants from the crowd.
Still, the Nets didn’t go away keeping things too close for comfort and leaving Miami down one to start the fourth.
The Nets expanded its lead to four to start the fourth quarter, but Bam answered back showing off his mid-range ability. J-Rich delivered a deep three to take the lead, and Bam followed that up with a bunny. The Heat had momentum once again without Jimmy on the floor as J-Rich did his thing giving me flashbacks to 2018. Despite a 9-0 run, the Heat stalled slightly on the offensive end but caught a break with BK missing its looks. Up only three, Miami needed to step on the gas and luckily would get some Jimmy G. Buckets. Bridges kept things close, and a poorly timed free throw miss and avoidable turnovers didn’t make things any easier down the stretch. Jimmy looked to be having a lot of fun as he went into his low post bag for some tough baskets.
The Heat threw up some questionable looks for a stretch but with Bam getting constantly double-teamed, the Heat still managed to get to the line. O’Neal got the Nets back within one with 1:30 left in the game, and a terrible turnover put the Nets back in the driver’s seat. Down one Tyler would hit yet another runner to get back ahead, but Cam Thomas would get fouled and put the Nets ahead with 37 seconds left. Miami went to Tyler again and he’d hit, with Claxton fouling Bam on a loose ball, the Heat would get up two (Bam missed one). The Nets would get a shot at the win, but Bridges went for two instead, getting fouled and sending the game to overtime after Jimmy’s missed game-winner the following possession.
Brooklyn’s double teams continued to be effective as Miami’s offense stalled and Brooklyn got up five. Things looked dire for the Heat, and despite getting some great looks once again resembled their first-half selves from beyond the arc. A questionable block on a Richardson gimme kept the Heat scoreless in OT but a well-timed Tyler three put them down just two. Bridges put BK up four but another three from Herro got the Heat back within one.
After an offensive basket interference call the Heat were in position to win with the ball and 25.7 seconds on the clock. Jimmy got fouled sinking both to put the Heat ahead with 11 seconds left but the Heat would hold on to beat the Nets.