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Jimmy Butler turns showdown into 114-92 Heat rout of Pacers

Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel on

Published in Basketball

No fireworks this time between Jimmy Butler and T.J. Warren.

Then again, perhaps the two were merely sparring for the main event -- next week's start of the NBA playoffs.

Meeting for the first of two games this week, and seeded for a potential best-of-seven postseason series that would start next week, the Miami Heat pushed past the Indiana Pacers 114-92 Monday night at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

The last time the teams met, back in January, the Heat's Butler and the Pacers' Warren got into a heated series of words and gestures that left both eventually fined by the NBA. This time, the matchup was more subdued in the game played in the void of fans, amid the new coronavirus pandemic.

"It was a great team win," Butler said.

In the personal matchup, Butler took an easy decision, closing with 19 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Warren finished with 12 points, five rebounds and no other stats of note. Warren entered averaging 35 points in Indiana's previous five games in the Disney bubble. Butler shot 5 of 13, Warren 5 of 14.

 

"We just made everything tough for him," Butler said. "When you go against the Miami Heat, we always have something in our back pocket."

The difference was that Butler was supported be several across-the-board Heat efforts, including 14 points, eight rebounds and four assists from Jae Crowder; 10 points, nine rebounds and four assists from Bam Adebayo; and 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds from Goran Dragic.

There also were 18 points from Derrick Jones Jr., off a series of lob feeds and 17 from Tyler Herro, off series of 3-pointers.

With Butler and Dragic back from injuries, the Heat moved to an 18-point lead in the third quarter, after the teams stood tied at 48-48 at the intermission, and were up 85-71 going into the fourth, with the lead again climbing from there.

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