Jimmy Butler hits game-winner as the Miami Heat attempt to get back on track with the impending returns of Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo.
Just two days ago on Dec. 14, the Miami Heat found themselves in a back-and-forth affair with the struggling Chicago Bulls. However, the second half belonged to the Bulls they ultimately came away with a victory.
On Saturday, Dec. 16, the two Eastern Conference foes were in a similar situation. The game came down to a wire, but this time, the Heat were able to right their wrongs. Instead of Chicago taking over, both teams traded blow-for-blow and with 12 seconds left, the score was tied 116-116 with small forward Jimmy Butler at the helm.
Reminiscent of his Chicago days where he made a step-back game-winning jumper, seven years later, he delivered the same blow, this time against his former team and not for.
Though Butler captured the win for the Heat, other Miami players stepped up to help the load. Namely, rookie guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been stepping up in the absence of star guard Tyler Herro and center Bam Adebayo.
The UCLA product has scored 10-plus in 13 straight games, on efficient shooting. This consistency was something that general manager Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra saw and it’s paid off so far.
Fellow UCLA alumni Kevin Love stepped up and had his best game in his Heat tenure yet, scoring 22 points with six 3's and was a team-high +19.
It wasn’t an easy win, however.
The Bulls had three 20-plus scorers in its starting lineup, including a season-high 25 from Patrick Williams. DeMar DeRozan poured in 27 and Colby White, who’s been on a consistent tear for the past month, added 20.
With Herro on the brink of returning, aiming for either Monday, Dec. 18, or Wednesday, Dec. 20 return, the Heat look to be back in shape with a return to the win column. Up next, the Heat will look to defend homecourt against another former Butler team in the Minnesota Timberwolves.