Coach Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat praised the overall effort after star player Jimmy Butler scored 36 points to help the team defeat the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 at home on November 16, extending their NBA winning streak to seven games.
Despite Tyler Herro’s continued injury, the Heat missed ten of their first eleven shots, and the Nets were unable to take a lead of more than six points in the opening quarter.
Miami led 60–52 at the half, and Butler added 18 points in the third quarter to help the Heat extend their lead to double figures. The Heat never fell behind in the second half.
We’re getting a little more organised, more comfortable,” Spoelstra said, despite his side’s slow start.
“And that allows you to be more confident.
“It’s not just Jimmy, you have to do it collectively, you have to be intentional on what you’re trying to get to. We need to get into proper spacing and quicker. It’s not just switches from Jimmy, it’s the other switches I think we are also operating a bit more efficiently.”
Butler connected on 12 of 19 shots from the field and added five rebounds with three assists and three blocked shots.
Duncan Robinson scored 26 points for Miami and Bam Adebayo chipped in 20.
Miami (8-4) have climbed to third place in the Eastern Conference, behind leaders the Boston Celtics (9-2) and the Philadelphia 76ers (8-3).
“Whatever it takes to win,” Butler said. “I think we did a good job in the second half of guarding. I was very, very, very proud of us for that.
“I don’t think we rebounded as well in the fourth quarter, but overall we played some great basketball.”
Mikal Bridges and Lonnie Walker IV scored 23 points apiece for the Nets, as coach Jacque Vaughn lamented how his side failed to take advantage of the Heat’s poor first quarter.
“Their little run going into half-time… you can’t have that momentum shift going into half-time,” he said.
“That’s something that we need to learn about, finishing the half and having the momentum going in your favour.”
In the only other game on Nov 16, Isaiah Joe hit seven consecutive three-pointers as part of a long-distance shooting barrage that lifted the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 128-109 road victory over the short-handed Golden State Warriors.