Jimmy Butler posts triple-double as Heat get to 9-0 at home with win over Wizards
It’s all working for the Miami Heat right now, especially at home.
Butler scored 28 points, Adebayo had a career-high 24 points and the Heat beat the Washington Wizards 112-103 on Friday night.
“I think my teammates are more happy than I am to get a triple-double,” Butler said. “They’re the ones over there telling me I need one rebound and two assists or whatever it was so it’s great to have guys looking out for me. But a win, as long as we get that, I don’t care what my stats are.”
Tyler Herro scored 22 points and Adebayo had 14 rebounds for the Heat. Butler finished with 11 assists and 11 rebounds for Miami, which is 9-0 at home for the first time in franchise history.
“It’s about creating an environment where this isn’t a place where teams like to play,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And that has to be earned over several weeks or months.”
Bradley Beal scored 23 points for Washington, including a 3-pointer late to get the Wizards to 95-94. Butler answered that with a 3-pointer to give the Heat some breathing room, then connected on another 3 with 1:04 left to put Miami up 111-103.
“I love the way we played tonight,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “It’s one of the toughest back-to-backs in the East playing Philadelphia and then a long flight down to Miami and playing against a good, physical, talented, aggressive, tough basketball team. We competed. Nothing to be ashamed about. We ran out of gas a little bit.”
The Wizards took a 40-29 lead early in the second quarter — significant because it was the first time this season that Miami trailed by double digits at home. The Heat trailed Memphis by eight in the season-opener on Oct. 23, then basically cruised in most of their other games facing nary a deficit along the way.
This time, they had to work all the way to the end — yet found a way.
Duncan Robinson’s 3-pointer off Butler’s 10th assist put the Heat up by seven with about 3:30 left, and back-to-back jumpers by Butler essentially put the game away. The Heat trailed 65-61 at the half, then held Washington to 38 points in the final two quarters.
It was Miami’s stingiest second half of the season.
“It’s disappointing we didn’t come out with this win, but there’s a lot of positives we can take out of it,” Beal said.
Wizards: Washington has scored 100 or more points in 19 consecutive games, the franchise’s second-longest streak in the last 30 years. It had a 23-game run from Jan. 3 through Feb. 24, 2017. … Bertans has 16 games with at least 3-pointers made this season. The only players with more are Houston’s James Harden and Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, both with 17.
Heat: Adebayo’s previous career best was 22. … Butler had a special guest at the game — his former coach in Chicago, Tom Thibodeau. … Friday started the first of two different four-game homestands for the Heat in December. They have a season-best five-game homestand from Feb. 26 through March 4.
Washington played without Ian Mahinmi (right Achilles/injury management) and Isaiah Thomas (left calf strain). The Heat were without Goran Dragic (right groin strain), Justise Winslow (back strain) and Dion Waiters (illness). Waiters still has not played this season.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and wife Nikki welcomed their second son, Dante Nicholas, into the world this week. Spoelstra missed Wednesday’s game in Boston but was back Friday — with all well on the home front. “My wife and I are thrilled. Everybody’s healthy. Everybody’s home,” Spoelstra said. “It’s been a crazy 48 hours, to say the least. But we’re all home and the house is a little bit louder than it was before.”
Wizards: Host the L.A. Clippers on Sunday.
Heat: Host Chicago on Sunday.