At one point, the Miami Heat were among the league's worst teams.
After Thursday's 111-103 victory against the Orlando Magic, they are above .500 for the first time this season. The Heat have won eight of their last 10.
“It has been an objective of ours for several weeks," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Even though it is just a small hurdle, it was something that we wanted to do.”
Playing without injured center Bam Adebayo, the Heat were led by forward Jimmy Butler. He finished with 27 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Forward Kelly Olynyk had 20 points while guard Tyler Herro finished with 17 points.
“At the end of the day, that is what great players do," Spoelstra said of Butler's play. "He puts his impact on the game and it is a series of winning plays that put you in a position to come out of it with the W.”
The Heat (19-18) return to action Friday at the Chicago Bulls. Miami is 8-10 on the road.
“It’s just a step in the right direction," Butler said. "We get another good team coming tomorrow. We have to show up and show out and get a win on the road.”
Spoelstra said Adebayo will not travel to Chicago. He will miss his third straight game.
“He will not [travel]," Spoelstra said. "He is going to do a ton of work here.”
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