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Amid suspensions and injuries, short-handed Heat survive for impressive win over Kings. Takeaways

Anthony Chiang, Miami Herald on

Published in Basketball

Amid suspensions and injuries, the Heat played without a chunk of its roster against a Kings team at full strength. But the Heat turned in an inspiring performance to continue its winning ways.

The Heat was without Thomas Bryant (league suspension), Jimmy Butler (league suspension), Tyler Herro (left knee hyperextension), Nikola Jovic (league suspension), Josh Richardson (right shoulder dislocation), Orlando Robinson (lower back spasms), Terry Rozier (right knee sprain) and Dru Smith (right knee surgery) on Monday.

That left the Heat with just 10 available players against the Kings. But that was enough to win its fourth straight game and end the Kings’ winning streak at three.

The first half included two lead changes and six ties, as both teams made runs. The Heat led by as many seven points and the Kings led by as many as 10 points before Miami entered halftime ahead 65-62 after a high-scoring first half.

But the Heat broke open the game with a dominant third quarter, outscoring the Kings 36-19 to turn a three-point halftime lead into a 20-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

In that third quarter, Jaime Jaquez Jr. totaled 13 points and Kevin Love scored 10 points to fuel the Heat’s surge in the period.

 

Despite that huge lead, the game still came down to the final minutes.

After the Heat again pulled ahead by 20 points with 10:30 to play, the Kings went on a huge 25-7 run to cut the deficit to just two with 3:41 remaining.

The Heat stopped the Kings’ momentum there, though, as Jaquez hit two straight jumpers to push the lead back up to six. Caleb Martin then threw down a high-flying dunk to extend the Heat’s lead to eight with 49.1 seconds left, closing the door on the Kings’ comeback attempt.

Starting with those six unanswered points, the Heat closed the game on an 11-2 run to pull away on its way to the victory. The Kings scored just two points over the final 3:41 of the game.

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