Despite playing without three of their top players, the Miami Heat were still able to get past the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday at FTX Arena.
Tyler Herro was ruled out because of health and safety protocols and Kyle Lowry missed his second straight game due to personal issues. The roster even thinner when Jimmy Butler was ejected after receiving two technical fouls for arguing a call.
Still, the Heat hung on for the 104-92 victory.
“I get it. Everybody is just on edge right now," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Butler's ejection. We’re going through two years of this. Things are getting competitive. There is just a lot of emotions. I thought it was diffused. I thought he had an explosion, a real emotion, and then Jimmy walked away. I really commend him of that. He has great emotional control.”
The Heat made up for Butler's absence with a physical fourth quarter. Caleb Martin led the way with 26 points while Bam Adebayo finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds.
“I bet that was my boss’s favorite fourth quarter of the season. That fourth quarter defensive effort probably made all of those historical HEAT teams with Zo, Timmy, PJ Brown, Marley, Bruce Bowen — they would all probably appreciate that game.”
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