Sexton scores 22 points, George has big fourth in Jazz's win over Heat
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Collin Sexton had 22 points, Keyonte George scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Utah Jazz beat Miami 117-109 on Saturday to end the Heat's winning streak at four.
“Just reading the game. If the game says shoot, then shoot it. If the game says pass, pass it,” said Sexton, who had 16 points in the first half. “I'm not overthinking.”
Jimmy Butler returned for Miami after missing the four straight victories because of strained calf, but left in the third quarter because of a foot injury. He had eight points in 23 minutes.
“We just never were able to contain them off the bounce, regardless of what the action was," Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Sixty in the paint, They did it off drives and cuts against our zone and it didn’t really matter. They were pretty much living in the paint and we just could not corral that all game long,”
In a tight game with the biggest lead by either team of eight, Kelly Olynyk scored in the lane and George hit 3 over the top of a zone to give Utah a 108-100 lead with 3:42 to play.
The Heat cut it to 108-106 before George hit another 3 and Lauri Markkanen added a 3 of his own after missing his first seven long-range attempts to seal it.
“There’s a lot of ways to win the game and I’m happy that our team was finding ways to win even when we’re not shooting the ball great,” Utah coach Will Hardy said after watching his team score 29 points off Miami's 16 turnovers.
Olynyk finished with 19 points, 10 assists and six rebounds, and the Jazz had 29 assists and just six turnovers.
“Unconventional. It’s kind of awkward,” Olynyk said about his herky-jerky style. "I wish I had a 40-inch vertical but I don't ... so I just do other things.
Utah improved to 14-19, while Miami dropped to 19-13.
“Not enough energy. We weren’t really getting into the ball and we weren’t really getting stops. For us to win games we got to guard our yard," Adebayo said.
George, who is the least accurate Jazz perimeter from 3-point range at 31.8%, had his best 3-point shooting game with five 3s, while the rest of the team went 6 for 33.
“I started being confident in myself taking taking those type of shots that you got to take in the flow of the game," George said. "Got some easy ones, and then getting into fourth, you see a couple go through and the rim looks humongous.”
The Jazz had played 11 of their last 15 games on the road but finally found their footing on their last trip — winning three straight after claiming just two away contests the rest of the season.
Playing with a fully healthy rotation for one of the first times this season, the Jazz relied on Sexton early and George late to grab this hard-fought win.
“I felt like I was due,” George said.
Sexton, who was coming off the bench early in the season, is averaging 23.1 over his last 10 games as he solidified his place in the starting lineup.
“It’s a great feeling when we’re all healthy and pretty much it’s out there playing and it’s fun, you can tell,” Sexton said. “I feel like the basketball is moving and popping around.”
“Once you let them play comfortable and play freely, you’re not putting bodies on them,” Herro said. "Then they start playing with more confidence. Then you get a rookie that hits a couple of big shots at the end, and you lose.”
Heat: At Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night.
Jazz: Host Dallas on Monday night.
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