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May 19, 2024

Heat Edge Out Nets in Overtime Thriller Behind Butler’s Heroics

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Jan 16, 2024

Jimmy Butler returned from injury to lead the Miami Heat to a thrilling 96-95 overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. Butler scored 31 points, including two clutch free throws with 3.7 seconds left in overtime to put the Heat ahead for good.

Butler’s Triumphant Return Powers Heat

Butler had missed the Heat’s previous three games with a knee injury. His return proved to be just what Miami needed to take down the star-studded Nets squad.

Butler was aggressive from the opening tip, scoring 12 first quarter points to stake the Heat to an early lead. However, Miami’s offense went cold in the second and third quarters as Brooklyn’s defense locked in.

Behind 23 combined points from Spencer Dinwiddie and Nic Claxton, the Nets carried a 71-63 lead into the fourth quarter. That’s when Butler took over, scoring 13 points in the final frame to help the Heat force overtime.

In the extra session, Butler drew a foul on Claxton and hit two clutch free throws to give Miami a 96-95 edge. Cam Thomas missed a potential game-winning jumper for Brooklyn on the ensuing possession as the Heat defense got the decisive stop.

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra praised Butler’s gritty performance after the game: “Jimmy was determined not to let us lose this game. He put the team on his back down the stretch and made winning plays at both ends.”

Herro Comes Up Clutch Off the Bench

While Butler fueled Miami’s fourth quarter and overtime rallies, the Heat also got a huge boost from sixth man Tyler Herro.

After scoring just 5 first half points, Herro erupted for 26 second half points to finish with 31 for the game. He nailed six 3-pointers, including a critical triple with 1:12 left in regulation to tie the game at 89.

Herro also played solid defense down the stretch, helping contain Nets guard Cam Thomas. His two-way impact was crucial to Miami surviving Brooklyn’s late rally and outlasting them in OT.

Nets Falter in 4th Despite Dinwiddie’s Big Night

On the Brooklyn side, Spencer Dinwiddie kept the Nets in position for the win with a season-high 36 points. He shot 14-of-24 from the field and mixed in four 3-pointers with some sensational drives to the rim.

However, Dinwiddie and the Nets offense stalled out in the fourth quarter amid improved Heat defense. After scoring 33 points in the third, Brooklyn managed just 22 in the fourth which allowed Miami to get back in the game.

The Nets were also hurt by losing big man Nic Claxton to an ankle injury late in regulation. Without his defensive presence protecting the rim down the stretch and overtime, the Heat took advantage by attacking the basket.

What’s Next

The Heat and Nets will complete their regular season series on February 27th in Miami. With both teams battling for playoff positioning in the East, their final head-to-head matchup could have major seeding implications.

For now, the Heat will look to use this comeback win as momentum during a critical upcoming stretch. 12 of Miami’s next 16 games come against teams over .500, starting with Wednesday’s road test against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Meanwhile, Brooklyn will aim to rebound at home against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. The Nets then embark on a tough 5-game road trip out West as they try to climb the East standings back towards the top 4 spots.

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q OT Final
Miami Heat 29 17 17 26 7 96
Brooklyn Nets 23 23 33 22 3 95

This table shows the scoring by quarter for the Heat and Nets. It illustrates how the Nets controlled much of the game before Miami’s big 4th quarter and overtime rallies.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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