NBA: Heat escape Nets in OT on Jimmy Butler free throws

NBA: Heat escape Nets in OT on Jimmy Butler free throws

/ 12:24 PM January 16, 2024

NBA Scores, News, Schedules

Jimmy Butler Heat vs Nets NBA

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) moves the ball around Brooklyn Nets center Nic Claxton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

NEW YORK — Jimmy Butler returned after missing seven games with a sprained toe and scored 31 points, including two free throws with 11.8 seconds left in overtime to help the Miami Heat beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-95 on Monday night.

Tyler Herro had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and Bam Adebayo added 11 points and 20 rebounds in Miami’s third straight win.

Mikal Bridges scored 26 points, and Cam Thomas added 23 for Brooklyn. The Nets lost their third straight and eight of the last nine games.

After scoring a season-low 31 first-half points, the Heat came out strong after the break, led by Herro and Butler. Herro had 23 points in the second half and overtime, and Butler scored 21 in that span, helping Miami outscore Brooklyn 57-43 over the third and fourth quarters.

Miami turned up the heat on Brooklyn, holding it to 30.9% shooting in the second half. Bridges forced overtime with two free throws with 4.4 seconds left and Brooklyn scored the first five points of OT, before Miami closed the game with an 8-2 run and stopped Bridges’ fall-away jumper in the closing seconds.

The Nets had lost 12 of their previous 15 entering play Monday and had allowed 120.3 points per game in that span. Yet, Brooklyn turned up the defense in the first half against the Heat, holding them to 26.2% shooting from the field in the first half, its lowest field-goal percentage against in a half since April 2022.

Led by Thomas’ 12 points off the bench, and Bridges’ 11 points and seven rebounds, the Nets led 45-31 at halftime.

NEXT SCHEDULE

Heat: At Toronto on Wednesday night.

Nets: At Portland on Wednesday night.

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TAGS: Brooklyn Nets, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA

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