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Dion Waiters steps up late in 84-74 Heat win in Utah

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

And in a game that needed someone to step up and seize control, Waiters did just that, with a pair of late jumpers, then an assist for a Josh Richardson 3-pointer and then another 3-pointer of his own, in what turned into a 21-point game of his own.

In the end, for all the lack of artistry that preceded it, it came down to a compelling finish, the teams tied 69-69 midway through the final period and then 71-71 with just under four minutes to play.

A 3-point play by Gobert then put the Jazz up 74-71 with just over three minutes to play.

But that's when Dion Waiters, at 4 of 17 to that stage, drained a 3-pointer for a 74-74 tie.

Waiters then followed with a jumper for a 76-74 Heat lead, similar to his two late clutch jumpers in Wednesday night's victory over the Phoenix Suns.

And then came a dagger off a Waiters assist, a 3-pointer from Richardson for a 79-74 Heat lead with 1:27 left.

After the Jazz clanked another 3-pointer, Waiters went all Philly Cheese with another 3-pointer for an 82-74 Heat lead.

Game.

Despite shooting just 1 of 18 in the third period and only scoring eight points in the quarter, the Jazz nonetheless were able to go into the fourth tied.

The Heat not only delivered a seeming gut punch of an 18-3 run to start the second half, but that also is when Gobert went down with 3:53 left in the third period, hobbling to the Utah locker room after a collision with Waiters as play continued. It proved to be only a knee bruise, with Gobert returning midway through the fourth quarter.

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