Heat snaps four-game skid behind big nights from Lowry, Herro, Martin

Barry Jackson, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

Butler, who’s averaging 20.9 points, missed his fourth consecutive game with a sore knee, while Washington was without guard Bradley Beal, who’s averaging 22.7, while also playing without starting forward Rui Hachimura.

The Heat also played without Max Strus (shoulder impingement), Duncan Robinson (sprained ankle), Victor Oladipo (knee) and Omer Yurtseven (ankle surgery).

Without Butler out and Herro back, the Heat opened with its eighth different starting lineup in 19 games: Bam Adebayo (15 points, 12 rebounds), Nikola Jovic (seven points), Martin, Lowry and Herro.

Six reserves were available, and Spoelstra used four of them while the game: Gabe Vincent and Dewayne Dedmon (who were both listed as questionable), Haywood Highsmith (who had a big fourth-quarter three) and Jamal Cain, who delivered a jolt of energy with seven first half rebounds.

— Martin continued his best offensive stretch of the season, while helping - as usual - in other ways.

Martin scored a season-high 26 -- his highest total with the Heat -- but this was about more than his scoring. He drew a charge, dished out four assists, pulled down nine rebounds, made two steals and blocked a shot.

He began the night with three strong moves off the dribble, then hit a three when Washington dared him to take it.

Martin scored in double figures just once in Miami’s 13 games.

He’s now done it five times in the past six.


Part of that is a byproduct of more shots being available due to injuries to Butler and Herro.

But he’s also more efficient offensively in this stretch. Martin is 10 for his past 22 on threes-pointers.

With the Wizards on a 14-4 run to close to within 70-59, Martin missed a three, rebounded his own miss and then hit a three.

Then, when the Wizards had closed to within eight, Martin drew an offensive foul, then hit a three on the other end.

And when Washington pulled to within one point early in the fourth, Martin banked in a three. Later, there was a driving layup to put Miami up six with just over two minutes to go and a reverse layup to restore the lead to six with 51 seconds to go.

Miami has outscored the opposition by 24 points in the Heat’s past eight games.

The Heat and Wizards play again on Friday at FTX Arena.

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