The Miami HEAT defeated the Utah Jazz 84-74 Friday night at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Dion Waiters led the way for the HEAT with 21 points.
1. Waiters = Clutch
There are few players in the league who you can block out everything and get the job done in crunch time regardless of what’s happened earlier.
Dion Waiters is one of those players.
Despite a rough start, the 25-year-old had a hand in Miami’s final 15 points of the game, including this extremely difficult three to tie the game at 74:
In addition to his 21 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, Waiters also had two boards, an assist and a team-high plus-24 rating.
2. Whiteside Goes Off In The Third
After a slow start to the contest, Hassan Whiteside changed the complexion of the game in the third quarter. Throughout the period, he showed great awareness on both ends of the floor.
Whether he was giving the HEAT second-chance opportunities with offensive rebounds and slams…
…or reading Utah’s passes and creating buckets in transition for his teammates…
…the big fella shined in the third quarter with four points, 11 rebounds, two steals, and a block.
When it was all said and done, Whiteside totaled eight points, a team-high 20 rebounds (five offensive), three steals and three blocks.
3. TJ Active On Both Ends
Tyler Johnson was ready to rock the moment he checked into the game, as he led the team with 10 points in the first half thanks to a few threes. While that was important, Johnson’s energy and hustle on the defensive end later in the game certainly paid dividends.
In addition to helping on the defensive glass, he also came away with two blocks, including this emphatic swat on Ricky Rubio:
Johnson ended up with 11 points, four rebounds and an assist to go along with those two aforementioned blocks.
-Like Waiters, Goran Dragić also played his best in the fourth and finished with 18 points and three assists.
-Miami played stifling defense in the second half and held the Jazz to a paltry 4-of-33 shooting (12.1 percent).
-Rodney McGruder (left tibia surgery), Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), A.J. Hammons (Sioux Falls assignment) and Matt Williams Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) were inactive.
-The HEAT’s final game of their season-long road trip will be on Sunday against the Pistons at 4:00 PM. Miami’s next home tilt will be on Wednesday, Nov. 15 against the Wizards at 7:30 PM. Tickets for that game at AmericanAirlines Arena can be found here.