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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Sizzling Jazz extinguish Heat winning streak in 112-94 rout

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Ira Winderman, South Florida Sun Sentinel, (TNS)

The four-game winning streak ended with a thud.

It was one thing with the Miami Heat doing it against the Washington Wizards, twice against the New York Knicks, and then against the Houston Rockets at Friday night’s start of this seven-game trip.

It was another trying to do it against the surging Utah Jazz, who now have won 18 of their last 19 with Saturday night’s 112-94 rout of the Heat at Vivint Arena.

Stifled by Utah’s defense, the Heat’s offense ground to a near halt midway through the second period, eventually left in the dust by an opponent that now has won 12 in a row at home and 12 in a row against the Eastern Conference.

The Heat finished shooting .407 from the field.

It was a particularly rough night for Jimmy Butler, who closed 3 of 10 from the field and 8 of 12 from the line, although he still managed 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists. It also was an uneven night for Bam Adebayo, with the Heat center finishing 7 of 17 from the field, with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Kendrick Nunn led the Heat with 23 points, with Donovan Mitchell leading the Jazz with 26 points and Utah center Rudy Gobert locking down the paint with his 16-point 12-rebound night.

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Five Degrees of Heat from Saturday’s game:

1. Run right out: The Heat hung around early, building a nine-point lead midway through the first quarter.

And then came a 14-0 Jazz run in the second quarter and a 47-42 Utah halftime lead.

It got worse from there, with Utah scoring the first 16 points of the third quarter, to move to a 63-42 advantage.

The Heat did not get their first points of the second half until Tyler Herro (12 points) converted a 20-foot jumper with 5:51 left in the third quarter.

2. They’re back: After going consecutive games with only 11 turnovers in victories over the Knicks, the Heat were back to 21 at the start of the trip, in Friday’s victory in Houston and then had nine in Saturday’s first half.

The Heat entered leading the league at 16.8 turnovers per game. The Jazz entered forcing only 11 per game.

The Heat closed with 17 Saturday night.

3. Rough go: After struggling against undersized Rockets defenders Friday in Houston, Adebayo this time struggled offensively against the length of Gobert.

To his credit, Adebayo pushed through for another double-double, but this was another example of work left to do, with Adebayo’s maximum-scale extension kicking in next season.

4. Faith pays off: Mitchell was forced to the bench with his second foul just 4:36 into the game.

But rather that allow his star guard to fall out of rhythm, Jazz coach Quin Snyder reinserted Mitchell late in the opening period.

The result was 10 first-half points for Mitchell, who also scored the game’s first seven points of the second half.

5. And on it goes: It doesn’t get any easier, with five more left on this trip, including Monday night against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center, and then on to games against the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

©2021 South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Visit at sun-sentinel.com.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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