In a hotly contested game with a playoff-like atmosphere, San Antonio was not to be denied in its second straight win with its most clutch effort this season. Devin Vassell (18 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals) had the game-clinching field goals after the teams traded leads on over ten occasions.
Miami grabbed a hold of the lead partway through the opening frame, which was reclaimed by San Antonio later in a back-and-forth first half. Herro led another Heat push in the third quarter, which was squelched by the Spurs’ Vassell and Keldon Johnson. Another Miami run was turned away by a tough and physical Spurs closing lineup and Vassell finished off the win. San Antonio’s bench, led by Vassell coming back from injury, kept them in the game throughout.
Johnson (21 points and 6 rebounds) and a career-best scoring effort by Romeo Langford (19 points and 6 rebounds) led an even more balanced Spurs attack than usual and Zach Collins completed admirably in the absence of so many bigs. In his return to the lineup, Vassell chipped in .
Jimmy Butler (30 points and 4 assists), Tyler Herro (23 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds), and Bam Adebayo (12 points and 9 rebounds) took advantage of a decimated Spur frontline, but were unable to complete a final comeback in the home loss.
- DeMarcus Cousins joined Draymond Green and many recent NBA players who tried to get under Tim Duncan’s skin with absolutely no success.
- That lower bowl in Miami’s arena never filled in did it?
- Kawhi’s last Spurs contract - 5 years, $94 million / Duncan Robinson’s current contract - 5 years, $90 million. #funnymoney
- Though the black unis fit in well with the Heart court, wouldn’t this have been the right matchup for the Fiesta unis with the Miami jerseys?
- Every time I watch Heat action on League Pass, and the fans chant “Let’s Go Heat,’ my wife comes into the room and asks “is it dinner time (i.e., ‘let’s go eat’)?”
- Who still is grieving 2013 Game 6?
- The Carnival Sound Off horn-blowing game might be the funniest one I’ve seen this year.
- Bassey Beastmode: Jones found him cutting baseline for an alley-oop late in the first half, but he again played a little tentatively on the road. Bassey did hit yet another free throw bunny tonight in the third.
- Sequence of the Game #1: Late in the opening stanza, Isaiah Roby willed home a hook in the paint, and followed it up with a steal at the other end and a lumbering one-man fast break bucket that would have made Boris Diaw proud.
- Sequence of the Game #2: Early in the second period, Collins turned away a Herro floater, and Vassell nailed a wing three off of a McDermott feed. Vassell took the next two transition opportunities coast-to-coast for high degree-of-difficulty layups to cap off his own 8-0 run.
- Sequence of the Game #3: Bassey acrobatically tipped in an errant Johnson miss back in late in the third quarter and then rejected a Dewayne Dedmon dunk attempt out of bounds.
- At the onset, Jones battled mightily to secure the ball on both ends. However, the Heat nabbed a slew of deflections and steals to stifle several Spur possessions. Johnson fearlessly took it to Adebayo in the post to get six early points. A three by Kyle Lowry and 3-point play by Butler helped push Miami up ahead with a parade to the free throw line helping them. Roby made his own 5-0 run, and a Doug McDermott pull-up had San Antonio down four after one.
- Vassell’s first field goal and a Zach Collins baby hook tied it at 29. Threes by Caleb Martin and Victor Oladipo put the Heat back up. Vassell, playing with a fire lit in his belly, went on a personal 8-0 run. The Spurs’ execution turned sloppy over several minutes, while Miami cooperated with its own choppiness. Mid-range makes by Malaki Branham and McDermott kept San Antonio within one possession. Collins paired a strightaway three with a lane floater to put the visitors back on top. An acrobatic layup by Jones, through defensive irritant Kyle Lowry nonetheless, and free throws, after getting hit in the face by Martin, were answered by Lowry with his own and-1, keeping San Antonio up at the break 59-57.
- Five foiled Spurs possessions followed by consecutive threes by Herro to start the third brought a patented Pop timeout. Johnson answered with two buckets, while Herro’s fourth three of the quarter put the Heat back up five. The San Antonio shots stopped falling all of a sudden until a big-bodied and-1 by Johnson stopped the bleeding momentarily. A Bassey tipback tied the game at 81 late in the quarter, and a Josh Richardson three put the Spurs up two going into the fourth.
- Collins found a soft spot in the Miami zone to hit two jumpers, while Lowry and Oladipo nudged their team back into the lead. A McDermott three edged San Antonio ahead again. Langford, having gained confidence as the game went on, drove baseline by Herro to impressively get a lefty layup. Another three by Oladipo closed the Heat to within one. Then Adebayo grazed Johnson across the cheek on his way to an offensive rebound and slam. Butler gutted out an and-1 to make it 104-103 Spurs. A deadball foul by Adebayo netted Jones a free point. A bonehaded closeout foul on Oladipo gifted Vassell two more free throws. A Butler free throw and jumper were answered by Collins’ freebies.
- In closing time, Vassell’s stepback put San Antonio up three, but a Martin corner three tied it at 113. Vassell’s next gorgeous stepback, invoking shades of Kobe, made it 115-113. Martin nabbed a steal, which led to a chaotic series of events ending in relief-inducing possession after Jones fumbled the ball away and several Heat defenders punched the ball out of bounds. Frisky Miami defense caused the Spurs to burn their last two timeouts.
- Collins was very questionably called for an offensive foul with 13.7 seconds after those timeouts. Two agonizingly close misses by Herro and Martin allowed Jones to snag the rebound with 0.3 seconds left and his free throws iced the game away.
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San Antonio returns home to take on Evan Mobley and the Cleveland Cavaliers Monday night at 7:30 PM CDT.