Butler, Adebayo help Heat outlast Wizards
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, Bam Adebayo added 20 points and 14 rebounds and the Miami Heat used a strong third quarter to earn a 110-102 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Butler went 7 of 10 from the floor and hit his only 3-point attempt a day after the six-time All-Star — who has missed 15 games this season — was left off this year's Eastern Conference reserves.
His efficiency was needed on a night the Heat shot 43.2% from the floor and only 7 of 31 from 3-point range.
“We’ve lost a couple games maybe because I haven’t been as aggressive as I’m supposed to be,” said Butler, who also went 9 of 13 from the line and grabbed nine rebounds. “We’ve talked about how that has to change. And you come out and be aggressive and keep everybody on their heels, because I think if I’m playing like that, it makes everybody else’s job a lot easier.”
Adebayo posted his 25th double-double of the season a day after he earned reserve All-Star honors to help Miami win its second straight after a seven-game slide. Kevin Love added 13 points and 10 rebounds in only 15 minutes.
“I feel like we’ve hit that adversity, we got through it, and now it’s time to roll,” Butler said.
Corey Kispert scored a season-high 26 points as Washington sank to 2-3 under interim coach Brian Keefe since he replaced Wes Unseld Jr.
Jordan Poole had 16 points and 10 assists, and Daniel Gafford added 11 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards, who were outscored by 16 in the third quarter. Washington was outscored by 21 in the same period by the Los Angeles Clippers in a loss Wednesday night.
Still the league's worst rebounding team, Washington was bested 59-43 on the boards and 14-6 on the offensive glass.
“I do think there was some long rebounds because both teams didn’t shoot the ball well from 3 tonight," Keefe said. "But that’s an area we’ve been focused on and that’s an area we’re going to continue to focus on.”
Miami took its first lead on Terry Rozier III’s free throws early in the third, then took control with a 21-6 run to end the period.
Butler's free throws — manufactured by throwing the ball toward the rim when he felt contact from Kyle Kuzma — gave the Heat the lead for good.
Love's second 3-pointer over Kispert stretched the lead to eight, Jamie Jaquez Jr.'s layup made it 10, and Tyler Herro’s 3-pointer made it 87-74 moments before the quarter ended.
“We just knew we had to play with more energy, as more of a cohesive unit,” Love said. “And from the start of the third all the way through, we felt like we did that.”
The Wizards had an 18-4 run late in the fourth but failed to make it a one-possession game when Poole missed his second of two free throws with 31 seconds left.
Heat: Host LA Clippers on Sunday night.
Wizards: Host Phoenix on Sunday night.
AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NB-