NBA: Heat move above .500 for first time after beating Spurs
Jimmy Butler scored 26 points and Bam Adebayo added 22 points and 13 rebounds as the Miami Heat played their best in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs 111-101 on Saturday afternoon in Mexico City in the NBA’s first game south of the border since 2019.
It was the league’s 31st game in Mexico overall, the most in any country outside the US and Canada.
The Heat trailed by three points at halftime and by four after three quarters but swept to a 97-90 lead early in the fourth behind seven points from Duncan Robinson, a basket by Victor Oladipo and a dunk by Adebayo.
The Spurs never got closer than six points again, and Miami stretched its lead to as many as 13.
The Heat won their fourth straight road game and moved above .500 for the first time this season. Tyler Herro added 21 points for Miami, and Robinson and Max Strus scored 12 each.
Game-high 26 points from Buckets ☕️ pic.twitter.com/FSHN0XcnYs
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) December 18, 2022
Miami played without starting guard Kyle Lowry (knee).
Keldon Johnson led the Spurs with 22 points, while Devin Vassell scored 18, Zach Collins added 13, Malaki Branham 12 and Keita Bates-Diop 10. Jakob Poeltl returned after missing seven games with a knee injury and had seven points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes.
The Heat led 20-9 after a 3-pointer by Strus with five minutes to play in the first quarter, but San Antonio caught fire, scoring the next 19 points to go up 28-20. The Spurs led 28-25 at the end of the quarter.
The second quarter went back and forth with two ties and eight lead changes, the last when Collins’ 3-pointer put San Antonio on at top at the 2:57 mark. A Butler three-point play with 24.1 seconds left brought the Heat to within 55-52 at the break.
Johnson had 17 points before halftime to lead all scorers, with Vassell adding 10. Adebayo led the Heat with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Butler had 11 points.
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