SALT LAKE CITY (AP)Tyler Herro made a 3-pointer as time expired to give the Miami Heat a 126-123 victory over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night.
Bam Adebayo had 32 points and eight rebounds for the Heat, while Herro finished with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Victor Oladipo chipped in 23 points off the bench and Max Strus had 13, including a first-half, buzzer-beating basket.
Herro’s final basket put a perfect exclamation point on a strong offensive outing for Miami.
”The ball was flying around,” Herro said. ”We were making plays for each other, getting stops defensively and turning it into easy buckets on the other end.”
Miami outscored Utah 54-32 in the paint to win for the third time in four games. The Heat shot 51% from the field and ended up tallying 32 assists on 45 baskets.
”That’s what we need,” Adebayo said. ”That’s what makes us a better team, when everybody is involved and flying around and making shots. The ball’s not sticking.”
Lauri Markkanen had 29 points and 14 rebounds for Utah. Jordan Clarkson scored 22 points and Malik Beasley chipped in 17 off the bench. Kelly Olynyk and Collin Sexton added 14 points apiece.
The Jazz made 17 3-pointers and 36 free throws but lost their fourth straight.
Utah erased a seven-point deficit and tied it at 123 with 6.3 seconds left on three free throws from Markkanen. Herro countered with his game-winning 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
”You want the ball in his hands because you know he wants those moments,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Miami made five straight baskets and scored on eight consecutive possessions overall to carve out a 62-52 lead late in the second quarter. Oladipo and Herro fueled the run with three baskets apiece.
Utah erased the deficit in the third quarter. Markkanen and Clarkson made back-to-back 3-pointers to spark an 11-0 run that gave the Jazz a 95-88 lead before quarter’s end.
”I just thought our intensity picked up and our communication was much better (in the second half),” Jazz coach Will Hardy said. ”We need that from the beginning of the game. I’m proud of the way our team adjusted at halftime and stuck in there.”
RETURN TO FORM
Oladipo had his best offensive outing so far this season, posting his first 20-point game since making his season debut earlier in December. He finished with season highs in points, field goals made (7), assists (5), and rebounds (5).
The veteran guard appeared in 96 total games over the previous four seasons while battling injuries.
”My path and my journey is different than a lot of people’s (journeys) and I have to remember that and just continue to stay patient with myself,” Oladipo said. ”Soon I’ll be exactly where I need to be.”
Heat: Jimmy Butler was inactive (right knee injury management). . Six Miami players dished out at least four assists.
Jazz: Walker Kessler blocked back-to-back shot attempts by Adebayo in the first quarter. . Beasley went 5-of-8 from 3-point range after making four total outside baskets in his previous three games.
Heat: Visit the Clippers on Monday.
Jazz: Host the Kings on Tuesday.
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