The Miami Heat’s situation appeared dire after their 1-4 start. That section now appears to have been forgotten.
Jimmy Butler scored eighteen of his thirty-six points in the third quarter as the Miami Heat defeated the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 on Thursday night to extend the NBA’s best winning run to seven games.
For the first time since December 30, 2017, to January 14, 2018, the Heat have won seven games in a row thanks to Duncan Robinson’s 26 points. Miami, one of just two teams without a double-digit victory this season, has won all seven of those games by a score of just one or two goals thanks to Bam Adebayo’s 20 points. The other is Charlotte.
“We’re getting a little more organized, more comfortable,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And that allows you to be more confident.”
Mikal Bridges and Lonnie Walker IV each scored 23 for Brooklyn, which had won its last five games against Miami. Nic Claxton was 7 for 7 from the field and scored 16 for the Nets, and Cam Johnson added 16 as well.
Walker got his points in 26 minutes off the bench.
“He can score the ball,” Johnson said. “He’s been in attack mode. He’s been locked in.”
Miami lost to Brooklyn on Nov. 1 to fall to 1-4, the worst five-game start in Spoelstra’s 16 seasons. The Heat haven’t lost since and the 8-4 record ties for the fourth-best 12-game start under Spoelstra; the team opened 9-3 on three occasions in that span.
Butler’s 18-point third quarter tied his best for any regular-season quarter in a Heat uniform, done on two other occasions. He’s also had quarters of 18, 21 and 22 in playoff games for Miami.
For the Heat, it was part of a nine-game, 18-day stretch where they’ll play in eight different arenas. The only one they’ll visit twice in that span is the United Center in Chicago, where they’ll open a two-game set against the Bulls on Saturday night to begin a five-game trip.