Herro, Heat dominate short-handed Spurs 112-95 to end skid
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Tyler Herro scored 24 points, Bam Adebayo added 18 points and 11 rebounds and the Miami Heat dominated the short-handed San Antonio Spurs 112-95 on Thursday night in Kyle Lowry’s return.
Lowry missed nine straight games for undisclosed personal reasons.
“It’s just awesome to have him back in our locker room and having his spirit,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Everything is just great. I couldn’t help but to smile walking into shootaround this morning. Seeing him there is just special.”
Lowry’s return enabled the Heat to have their projected starting five together for the first time since Thanksgiving weekend and they snapped a three-game losing streak.
Jimmy Butler added 17 points for Miami after being chosen for his sixth All-Star Game.
The Heat (33-20) led by as many as 26 points, allowing Butler to sit out the fourth quarter.
The Spurs struggled to score without injured starters Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poeltl, as well as Jock Landale, Doug McDermott and Keita Bates-Diop.
Derrick White, who also sat out the fourth quarter, had 22 points for San Antonio.
“I was just trying to be aggressive,” White said. “I knew DJ, Doug, and Jak were out.”
Tre Jones, who had 16 points, was the only other player in double figures for the Spurs.
The game was moved up 1 1/2 hours due to inclement weather. The Heat cut their shootaround short Thursday morning after being informed of a possible change in start time.
“There have been a lot of firsts in the last two years, but I’ve never been part of a game that was changed the day of the game,” Spoelstra said. “But I thought everyone responded well to it. No excuses, let’s not complain about it, let’s just do it.”
Miami outscored San Antonio 54-36 in the paint and held the Spurs to a season-low 38% shooting from the field.
San Antonio (19-34) has one home game remaining before embarking on a nearly monthlong road trip necessitated by the San Antonio Livestock & Rodeo using the AT&T Center. The Spurs have lost three straight.
“Every game, win or lose, is a learning experience,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “A wonderful experience for all our young guys. They gave it all they had, but Miami is sharp.”
White had 19 points in the first half to keep the Spurs from facing a larger deficit.
Miam’s bench outscored San Antonio’s 31-10 in first half.
Herro had 10 points off the bench in the first half and finished 11 for 20 from the field along with five rebounds and five assists.
“He’s confident,” Butler said. “We all know that he can put the ball in the basket, but he also does a great job of getting everybody else involved. He’s getting better and better when it comes to making the right read in the pick-and-roll and the iso situation. If he keeps playing the way that he’s playing, he’s going to be key for us down the line.”
Heat: P.J. Tucker had eight points in 24 minutes after being listed as day-to-day because of a knee injury. … Miami has won three straight over San Antonio, last losing Jan. 19, 2020. … F Markieff Morris remains out while reconditioning a neck injury after experiencing whiplash on a blow to the back by Nikola Jokic on Nov. 8. … The Heat are 15-14 on the road.
Spurs: Murray missed the game with a sprained left wrist and McDermott sat out with a sprained right ankle. … Poeltl and Landale are in concussion protocol after each was hit in the head Tuesday against Golden State. … Thaddeus Young made his initial start of the season after not appearing in 22 of the previous 25 games. He had seven points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes, the most since logging 24 minutes on Nov. 16. … San Antonio also scored 19 points in the first quarter at Philadelphia on Jan. 7.
GOOD TO BE BACK
Lowry had two points in 25 minutes, missing his only field goal attempt, but that didn’t bother him or the Heat. Everyone was just happy to have him back.
“Normally I have six turnovers, that’s about right,” Lowry said, smiling when asked about possibly being out of rhythm. “No, it’s easy to play with these guys.”
Lowry and the Heat have not disclosed the circumstances surrounding his absence, but they have weighed heavily on the 16-year veteran.
“The last couple of weeks have been extremely tough, but day by day,” Lowry said of how he’s gotten through. “I’ve had a lot of support from the Heat organization and my teammates, they’ve been unbelievable. I appreciate everything from them, and the NBA family. A lot of people reached out. Honestly, I thank them.”
Heat: At Charlotte on Saturday.
Spurs: Host Houston on Friday.