Miami Heat starting to show signs of grit
It was never an option for Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr.
There was no chance he was going to let being poked in both eyes in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings Monday prevent him from returning to give his team a boost in overtime.
Jones was back on the court causing a turnover on a key defensive possession that helped the Heat hang on for a 118-113 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena. Not only did it run their league-best home record to 19-1, it showed they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep this success going.
"I'm going to try to get back in the game no matter what happens," said Jones, whose return to the game was listed as questionable. "I feel like if my body is telling me that I can do it, then I'm going to do it. My body told me I could play. I kept going."
The Heat won despite Jimmy Butler sidelined with hip soreness. It was the sixth game he missed this season. The Heat are now 4-2 in games without him, adding to their grittiness. Rookie Kendrick Nunn had 25 points and six assists while Bam Adebayo overcame a slow start to finish with 16 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, with most of the production coming in the extra session. He also scored the basket that forced overtime on the Heat's final possession in regulation.
The victory helped the Heat atone for Sunday night's loss in San Antonio and avoid their second losing streak of the season.
"We were making excuses and really were not committing to what was necessary to get ourselves a chance to win this game against a team that presented a lot of challenges with the shooting, the speed, the quickness, the youth," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "... It takes a laser focus with commitment and your efforts have to be spot on."