NBA: Jimmy Butler scores 37 points, Heat down Jazz

NBA: Jimmy Butler scores 37 points, Heat down Jazz

/ 01:10 PM March 03, 2024

Jimmy Butler Heat vs Jazz NBA

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) looks to pass as Utah Jazz forward John Collins (20) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI — Every Jazz-Heat game in Miami for the last seven seasons has played out the same way. They’ve all been close, all the way to the end.

And Miami wins.


Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his season-high 37 points in the third quarter, Bam Adebayo added 23 and the Heat topped the Jazz 126-120 on Saturday night for their 10th victory in 13 games in the NBA.


“When Bam and Jimmy play with that competitive spirit and are connected from a competitive standpoint, our guys feel like we can beat anyone,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

The Heat’s seven consecutive home wins over the Jazz have come, in order, by one, two, three, eight, three, four and now six points. Caleb Martin had 18 points and Terry Rozier added 14 for Miami (34-26). Duncan Robinson and Jaime Jaquez Jr. each had 12.

“Jimmy got away from us, especially in the second half,” Jazz coach Will Hardy said.

Keyonte George scored 31 points and Lauri Markkanen had 25 for Utah. Collin Sexton and John Collins each scored 18 points, and Taylor Hendricks finished with 13 rebounds for the Jazz.

Butler had 36 points twice earlier this season. He was 3 for 3 on 3-pointers and had a steal, extending his streak of having at least one 3-pointer and one steal to 13 consecutive games — the fourth-longest streak in the NBA this season and tying Tim Hardaway for the second-longest such streak in Heat history. Rafer Alston had a 15-game run for Miami in March 2004.


“We got stops down the stretch and me and Jimmy made big plays in the fourth,” Adebayo said.

The Heat were again without Tyler Herro, who missed his fourth consecutive game; the knee issue that had kept him out is no longer a factor, but now he is sidelined with right foot tendinitis. Kevin Love was also out with a bruised right heel.

For Utah, Walker Kessler (sprained right foot) was out for the second straight game and Jordan Clarkson — the team’s third-leading scorer behind Markkanen and Sexton — was out with an illness.

The Jazz (27-34) are 11th in the Western Conference and entered the night 5 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the final play-in spot with 21 games remaining. Utah was 24-23 after winning in Charlotte on Jan. 27. The Jazz are 3-11 since, 0-6 away from home in that span.

“We’re still developing as a team,” George said. “We’re still young. And that’s a phenomenal team we just played.”

It was Utah by four after one, Utah still by four at the half and the teams were tied at 90-90 going into the fourth. There were 11 ties, 21 lead changes and almost the entire game was played with the sides within single digits of each other — the Jazz had an 11-point lead in the third quarter, for all of 26 seconds.

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Miami never led by more than five until Martin made a 3-pointer with 2:38 left for a 117-109 lead. He departed after getting hit in the face inadvertently by Butler as they went for a defensive rebound on the next possession.


Jazz: Host Washington on Monday night.

Heat: Host Detroit on Tuesday night.

TAGS: Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, NBA, Utah Jazz

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