With the Heat facing an extensive injury list for Friday’s game at Washington, Kyle Lowry told the coaching staff he was good for 48 minutes if needed, writes Anthony Chiang of The Miami Herald. Lowry wound up playing even more than that, logging 51 minutes and posting a triple-double in a one-point overtime loss.
Lowry’s only rest during the 53 minutes of action came with about a minute left in the third quarter. He returned a minute into the fourth quarter, but Miami was outscored by five points during that time, which proved to be critical.
“It was kind of one of those situations that you got to do what it takes to win the basketball game,” said Lowry, who posted the third-highest minutes total of his long career. “Coach trusted me a lot. He trusted me tonight. He’s always trusted me, but tonight before I walked into the building, I said: ‘48 [minutes].’ I got to 50.”
There’s more on the Heat:
- Injuries have been a problem all season, and coach Erik Spoelstra is relying on a zone defense more than usual to compensate, Chiang adds. Miami used a 2-3 zone on 63 possessions Friday night and has played a zone 21.4% of the time this season, which would easily set a modern NBA record. “You got to do what you got to do,” Lowry said. “We were the Syracuse Heat tonight.”
- After having just seven available players Friday, the Heat may get some reinforcements for Sunday’s game at Cleveland, Chiang notes in a separate story. Bam Adebayo, who has missed the past two games with a left knee contusion, is listed as questionable, as are Dewayne Dedmon, who’s suffering from a non-COVID illness, and Gabe Vincent, who has a left knee effusion. Jimmy Butler has been ruled out for the final two games of the road trip, and Duncan Robinson is doubtful due to a sprained right hand he suffered during Friday’s shootaround. Udonis Haslem, Tyler Herro, Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven all remain unavailable.
- Following a 7-9 start, the Heat have limited options for improvement other than an unwise trade involving draft picks, states Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Some suggestions Winderman offers include more minutes for first-round pick Nikola Jovic and restoring Herro to his sixth-man role.