The ball was moving, the threes were falling, and the depth of contribution was substantial.
So, yep, another game involving the Golden State Warriors.
The Miami Heat defeated Stephen Curry and company 116-109 on Tuesday night to end a two-game losing streak, although in this instance it was the adversary who caused the harm.
The Heat displayed the fortitude that had been lacking in their 2-5 record as they fell down by 10 points in the third quarter after losing Tyler Herro for the night in the second half due to an eye injury.
There was finally a sigh of relief among these inconsistent first two weeks of the season thanks to Jimmy Butler stepping up this time with a pair of crucial late baskets, one of which he converted into a three-point play.
Butler contributed 23 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds to the Heat’s box score. Max Strus contributed 24 points, Bam Adebayo 19, Duncan Robinson 17, and Kyle Lowry 12 for the Heat.
Klay Thompson scored 19 points, Andrew Wiggins scored 21, and Curry finished with 23 points, 13 assists, and 13 rebounds for the Warriors.
Five Degrees of Heat from the contest on Tuesday
1. Closing time: The Heat led 58-46 at the half, fell down by 10 in the third, then fought their way back to within three before trailing 94-86 heading into the fourth.
However, the Heat closed the gap with 3-pointers from Lowry and Strus less than a minute into the fourth, and Robinson’s transition 3-pointer tied the score at 100-100 with 7:07 left to play.
When Butler was fouled on a driving layup with two minutes left, he made the three-point play to put the Heat ahead 112-109 with 1:48 remaining.
When Curry attempted a 3-point shot with 1:39 remaining, Butler was then penalized for a three-shot foul. Erik Spoelstra, the head coach of the Heat, successfully contested, giving the Heat three more possessions.
Following missed 3-pointers by the Warriors’ Thompson and the Heat’s Gabe Vincent, Vincent made a running jump shot.
With 38.7 seconds left, Golden State had the ball down three points.
Following another missed 3-point attempt by Thompson, the Heat had the ball with 30 seconds remaining.
With 9.5 seconds left, Butler once more went up and gave the Heat the lead, 114-109, with a 15-foot leaning jumper.
2. Herro is out: The Heat lost Herro midway through the second quarter after a collision with Moses Moody of the Warriors caused a bruise to his left eye.
Herro claimed he couldn’t see and required help leaving the court.
At the start of the second half, Max Strus took his place in the Heat lineup.
Herro finished with two points on one of six attempts. He had just scored a season-high 34 points at Sacramento on Saturday.
The short turnaround, with the Heat visiting the Kings on Wednesday night, is now a cause for concern.
3. Stepping out: Butler finished the first half with two 3-point conversions on three attempts from beyond the arc, demonstrating once more a growth in confidence and skill.
Beyond Dewayne Dedmon’s.2 of 2, Butler started 7 of 16 from beyond the arc for a team-best.438 percentage.
This time, the Heat actually started attempting 3-pointers, with shots coming from everyone from Strus to Robinson to Lowry to Butler, and yes, even from Dedmon.
4. Bench boost: The Heat received early bench lifts from Robinson and Dedmon after being outplayed by the Warriors’ starters.
Robinson made a pair of early 3-pointers and also drew a charge in the first quarter of Saturday’s game in Sacramento, but he did not participate in the second half.
Dedmon got four points and four rebounds in his first four minutes of play after missing the previous two games due to illness and foot injury.
The Heat went on a 20-3 run to conclude the first quarter.
5. Still the best: Curry, as he was when the sides faced off last week at Chase Center, was there for the Warriors when they needed him, capping off the game with his 10th triple-double of the regular season.
Curry’s first 3-pointer brought his NBA-record streak to 197 games, and he continued to pack the stat sheet after that.
Curry’s double-double was his second of the year and his first with both points and assists.
Last Thursday, Curry contributed 33 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds as Golden State defeated the Heat 123-110.