Wade’s late free throws lift Heat past Jazz
MIAMI — Dwyane Wade had a two-hour phone call with Donovan Mitchell over the summer, fielding question after question about what the path toward NBA stardom is like.
Wade happily provided a ton of answers.
He might have kept a secret or two for himself.
Wade drove past Mitchell on Miami’s final possession, drew a foul from Rudy Gobert at the rim and made two free throws with 3.2 seconds remaining to lift the Heat to a 102-100 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night — a game where Mitchell’s 3-pointer at the end hit the rim and bounced away.
“I don’t talk to anybody on the phone for two hours anymore,” Wade said. “But he wanted to pick my brain. He had a lot of great questions and we just talked about the game.”
Wade gave Mitchell a couple more lessons on Sunday, in a game where the Heat rallied from an early 19-point deficit and survived 17 lead changes and 16 ties. Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds for Miami, which got 16 apiece from Josh Richardson and Kelly Olynyk and 15 from Wade.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was waiting to see if Wade wanted a timeout on the last possession. He didn’t, and Wade knew when he had the ball at the top of the key exactly what he was going to do — drive down the right side of the lane, get to the rim and see what happens.
“It’s like putting on an old glove,” Spoelstra said. “We’ve been in that situation so many times before. It was very natural for him to read everything.”
Gobert didn’t like the call.
“I just want it to be consistent at one point,” Gobert said. “Every night is the same (stuff).”
Ricky Rubio led Utah with 23 points. Jae Crowder scored 19 and Mitchell had 18 for the Jazz, on 8 for 24 shooting. Afterward, he said going head-to-head with Wade was special.
“That was surreal, to be honest,” Mitchell said.
Gobert had 12 points and 18 rebounds for the Jazz. Wayne Ellington had 12 points, all of them on 3-pointers — including one with 2:03 left that gave Miami the lead, and the Heat wouldn’t trail again.
Utah’s lead was 55-53 at the half, a score that would suggest the first 24 minutes were nip-and-tuck for both sides.
The Jazz ran out to leads of 20-5 and 35-16, shooting 65 percent — while holding Miami to 28 percent — and turning the first six Heat turnovers of the night into 12 points.
And then Utah suddenly went ice-cold. Miami went on a 20-0 run, forcing Utah into 14 consecutive missed shots, to turn the 19-point deficit into a one-point lead.
“We’ll clean it up. It’s little things,” Utah coach Quin Snyder said. “Overall, I’m happy with how we competed, but obviously we wish we could do things better for a full game.”
Jazz: Joe Ingles scored 11 for Utah, which put all five of its starters in double figures. … The Jazz were trying to finish off a 3-0 road trip. … Utah was 11 for 33 from 3-point range.
Heat: The 20-0 run was Miami’s longest of the season, topping a 17-0 streak at Chicago last month. … The Heat were back in their red jerseys, a second consecutive deviation from the schedule. Miami was slated to wear its black “Vice” jerseys again Sunday, but much like Friday — when the Heat snapped a six-game home slide that coincided with the unveiling of those kits — the team went a different way.
Miami’s injury list — which already included Goran Dragic (knee), Tyler Johnson (hamstring), Derrick Jones Jr. (hamstring) and Dion Waiters (ankle surgery recovery) — got deeper in the first half. Starting wing Rodney McGruder, one of Miami’s top defenders, left with a sprained right ankle and did not return.
It’s a strange schedule this year for the Jazz, who have now played 24 games — a league-high 16 on the road, a league-low eight at home. The first half of the year has Utah playing 25 times on the road, 16 at home, and obviously the exact inverse of that awaits the Jazz in the season’s second half.
Jazz: Host San Antonio on Tuesday.
Heat: Host Orlando on Tuesday.