The Miami Heat have kicked their restart off in the best way possible, blowing the Denver Nuggets out with a 125-105 victory in the first game since the NBA resumed on July 30.
The Heat and Nuggets took to the floor on Saturday afternoon. The tip-off was delayed for a few seconds as Jimmy Butler was made to change his jersey after the forward lined up without any name on his shirt as a means of protest. The NBA has not approved of Jimmy’s request to go nameless during games but he made his statement anyhow, switching to a jersey bearing his name before being allowed to start the game.
Erik Spoelstra opted to leave Meyers Leonard on the bench for this one, starting Bam Adebayo at center, with Jae Crowder replacing Leonard in the starting lineup.
The Nuggets were pretty dominant in the first half yet Miami managed to head into halftime down just one before a third-quarter resurgence saw them outscore Denver 38-22 for a 94-79 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Kelly Olynyk was the man for Miami in the final period, scoring all of his 20 points in the fourth and going 8-9 from the field, totaling the highest-ever scoring quarter in his NBA career.
Butler and Adebayo scored 22 apiece for Miami on 6-11 and 12-17 shooting respectively. Butler registered seven assists along with four rebounds while Bam hauled nine boards and assisted on six buckets. Duncan Robinson chipped in with 17 points on 5-9 shooting, hitting 3-7 from long range.
The Heat have improved their record to 42-24 and are now a game-and-a-half behind the Boston Celtics, who they play on Monday.