They say basketball is a game of runs and Jimmy Butler is a player that sparked them for the Miami Heat in Saturday’s 125-105 win over the Denver Nuggets.
There are some baskets that shift the momentum of a game and on Saturday, Butler came up with those for the Heat.
10-0 Run First Quarter To Establish Early Lead (9:15-7:45)
With the team down two early, Butler drove to the hoop and forced a foul on Nikola Jokic while converting the lay-up. The free throw was hit and then the Heat went on to score the game’s next seven points, giving them a 14-6 lead before Denver called timeout with 7:44 left in the first.
6-0 Run To Trim Difference Before Half (:51-Half End)
The Heat were trailing 57-50 with under a minute left before the halftime break. Butler’s ability to drive to the basket, create contact and finish was once again on display and after he sank the free-throw and cut the deficit to four.
On the next possession, the Heat came up with a stop on defense that allowed Butler to dime Duncan Robinson on a three-pointer that trimmed Denver’s lead to one as both teams went into their locker rooms.
13-3 Run In Third Quarter Gave Heat Lead For Good (9:07-7:05)
With the Heat trailing 64-59 in the early part of the second half, Butler made a cut finished with an easy dunk. He then drew a shooting foul and converted the two free throws. Butler would’ve made it six straight solo points if he converted a breakaway lay-up following his steal. Nonetheless, the miss was followed up by a Bam Adebayo score.
A Jae Crowder three with 7:05 left in the quarter put the Heat up 72-67. The game’s energy continued to favor the Heat and the lead grew as high as 14 with just under a minute and a half until the fourth quarter.
14-4 Run to Ensure There Was No Way Back (:45 seconds Q3 to 9:42 Q4)
The Nuggets cut the deficit to ten with 57 seconds left in the quarter but two Butler lay-ups and a free throw in the last 45 seconds of the period secured a 15 point Heat lead at the end of the third quarter. Butler’s and one with 9:42 left in the final quarter grew the advantage to 20.