Butler, who returned on Saturday after missing ten straight games due to the league’s health and safety protocols, poured in 30 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in the contest. It was Miami’s first victory in over a week, snapping a five-game losing streak.
“It’s a start,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We just have to continue to forge ahead. Our spirit has been lifted. It feels different than it did two weeks ago.”
Miami has battled COVID-19 and a series of injuries thus far, opening the 2020/21 season with a 7-12 record. The team has upcoming games scheduled against the Hornets on Monday and the Wizards on Wednesday and Friday.
There’s more from the Southeast Division tonight:
- The Heat and Butler mutually missed each other during his absence, David Wilson writes for The Miami Herald. Butler is coming off a season that saw him average 19.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and six assists per game, leading Miami to its first Finals appearance since 2014.
- Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer examines whether Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball is ready to make his first NBA start. Ball scored a career-high 27 points in the team’s win over Milwaukee on Saturday, also adding five rebounds, nine assists and four steals on 8-of-10 shooting.
- Magic forward Jonathan Isaac is embracing the grind of his rehab, working his way back from a torn ACL suffered last August, Roy Parry of the Orlando Sentinel writes. “I like the work. I like getting in and grinding every day,” Isaac said. “I think most people would think that that’s the hardest part but I take it like I’m out there playing on the court when I’m doing my rehab. This is my game right now. But the hardest part is definitely just being on the sideline and watching those guys fighting and just wishing I was out there with them.”