How valuable is forward Jimmy Butler to the Miami Heat?
He showed that in Thursday's 103-93 victory against the New Orleans Pelicans. Butler, who had missed two games because of a knee injury, finished with 29 points and nine assists.
“What didn’t he do?” Miami Heat coach Spoelstra said.
Butler shot 10 of 14 from the field goal and hit a late 3-pointer during a key 11-2 run in the fourth quarter. Forward Kelly Olynyk added 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists while guards Goran Dragic and Kendrick Nunn each had 13 points.
“It feels good, fresh start when we get back,” Butler said. “It’s good not to have a losing record. I still think we can be a lot better.”
“You can see we trust him, we want him to have the ball in those moments and he always comes through,” Heat guard Goran Dragic said. “It's really awesome to watch him, what he's able to do. He can manipulate the game, get to the free throw line, make shots.”
The Heat now will have a few days to rest during NBA All-Star Break. They enter the midway point with a record 18-18 and hold the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.
"Symbolically, yes, going into the break and being able to be .500 so we can almost have a second start to the season, mentally probably means something,” Spoelstra said.
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