MIAMI (ABC4 Sports) – A brutal stretch of nine out of ten road games did not get off to a great start for the red hot Utah Jazz.
Jimmy Butler had 33 points, ten rebounds and eight assists, while Goran Dragic poured in 26 points, as the Miami Heat handed the Jazz just its second loss in the month of February, 124-116.
Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 30 points, while Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 12 rebounds, but the Jazz went cold in the fourth quarter, scoring just 22 points.
“We just made a lot of mistakes, had too many breakdowns on both ends,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “There were a lot of things that we can do better.”
The Jazz struggled from the three-point line, making 15 of 46 shots (32.6%). Utah got out-rebounded by Miami, 50-36.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 17 points, Mike Conley added 14, while Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson each scored 13 off the bench.
“Tonight, we ran up on a team that really just out-executed us down the stretch,” Conley said. “They made plays when it mattered most.”
Like Butler, Bam Adebayo nearly notched a triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as Miami won its fifth straight game.
“I don’t want to say that we’re good yet,” Butler said. “I think we’ve got so much more to figure out. We’ve got so much more that we can be better at. Myself, anybody, I don’t want us to get complacent and think that we’re cool, we’re good. Nah, that’s not the case. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Duncan Robinson had 15 points, making four of seven from three-point range.
After a high-scoring third quarter, in which the Jazz outscored the Heat 41-39, Miami’s defense tightened up in the fourth.
Dragic found Andre Iguodala for an open 3-pointer, then made another himself on the next Heat possession for a 114-107 lead with 6:35 to play.
Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 3:39 left started the last Jazz flurry, Conley got a layup on the next Utah possession and Gobert made two free throws on the next. Just like that, the Jazz were within 116-115.
But they got no closer, with Dragic taking a charge to erase what would have been a basket by Conley with 1:58 left. The Jazz wound up missing their last six shots.
With Miami up 118-116, Butler hit a dagger floater in the lane with 33 seconds left.
The Jazz are shooting 41.2% on 3-pointers in the first halves of games this season against everyone other than Miami, and only 22.2% in the opening half of their two games against the Heat. They were 7 for 24 before the break on Friday, part of the reason why Miami went into intermission up 57-53.
There were six ties, six lead changes, and neither team led by more than six in that first half. And Miami held on for a 96-94 lead after three quarters — the prerequisite for beating the Jazz this season. Utah came into Friday 24-0 when leading after three quarters, 2-6 when trailing.
They’re 2-7 now.
Mitchell made 11 of 26 shots from the field for his eight 30-point game of the season.
Utah still own the NBA’s best record at 26-7. The Jazz next play at Orlando Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.