NBA: Jimmy Butler’s dunk lifts Heat to win over struggling Rockets
Jimmy Butler dunked off a 35-foot in-bounds pass from Gabe Vincent with just 0.3 seconds left as the host Miami Heat defeated the C 97-95 on Friday night.
Tyler Herro led Miami with 31 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He had game highs in all three categories, making 11-of-20 from the floor.
Bam Adebayo added 20 points and nine rebounds, and Butler scored 16 points as the Heat won their eighth straight home game. It’s the longest active home winning streak in the NBA.
Jabari Smith Jr. led Houston with 22 points and eight rebounds.
Houston’s Jalen Green had appeared to send the game to overtime with his baseline drive that tied the score 95-95 with 0.7 seconds left.
GABE VINCENT OUT-OF-BOUNDS LOB TO JIMMY BUTLER FOR THE WIN 🚨 pic.twitter.com/Z4roYsfz1C
— NBA (@NBA) February 11, 2023
But Miami called the timeout and ran the Butler play to perfection. Herro set the key screen on the play, and Butler was alone at the rim.
Houston, which has the worst record in the NBA at 13-43, fell to 5-23 on the road. The Rockets have lost five straight games overall.
Miami led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter. But Houston rallied and took a 29-28 lead into the second quarter as Green passed out of a double team to Tari Eason, who rattled in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Max Strus was the star of the second quarter as his 12 points gave the Heat a 58-56 halftime lead. Houston stayed in the game due to its 18-4 paint-points advantage in the second quarter.
"Okay, Heat Nation. You get your money's worth."
— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) February 11, 2023
The teams played to a third-quarter stalemate, leaving Miami with a 75-73 lead headed into the fourth.
With 3:40 left in the fourth, Houston’s TyTy Washington Jr. made a floater to give the Rockets an 89-84 lead.
But Butler scored six straight Heat points — four free throws and a layup — to get Miami back in the game. Herro then hit a go-ahead, transition 3-pointer from the left corner with 24 seconds left, giving Miami a 93-91 lead.
Smith made two free throws to tie the score 93-93 with 10.2 seconds left.
Butler, after a controversial foul call in which he seemed to wrap his arm around his defender, made two free throws with 7.0 seconds remaining.
But Houston, out of timeouts, tied the score when Green blew by Caleb Martin on a base-line drive.