National Basketball Association
Miami 93, Orlando 83
When: 3:30 PM ET, Sunday, December 26, 2021
Where: FTX Arena, Miami, Florida
#89 Dannica Mosher, #46 Ben Taylor, #35 Jason Goldenberg
Jimmy Butler posted 17 points and 11 rebounds in his return from an eight-game absence, leading the host Miami Heat to a 93-83 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday afternoon.
Third-string center Omer Yurtseven collected 16 points and a game-high 15 rebounds while making his first career start due to injuries to Bam Adebayo and Dewayne Dedmon.
Orlando was led by Gary Harris (game-high 20 points), R.J. Hampton (14 points) and Wendell Carter Jr. (eight points, 14 rebounds).
Miami's Kyle Lowry, who entered the game ranking fifth in the NBA in assists average (8.2), was placed on the COVID-protocol list just prior to the game.
Even so, the Heat won their fifth straight game against its cross-state rival.
Butler, Miami's leading scorer, had missed 12 of the past 13 games due to a tailbone injury. The Heat, however, have gone 9-6 without him this season.
Miami also saw Caleb Martin score 17 points off the bench in his return from the COVID protocols.
The Heat missed their first nine 3-point attempts, a skid that was broken by Martin with 6:28 left in the second quarter. For the game, the Heat shot 10-for-34 from 3-point range (29.4 percent).
The Magic, who have the second-worst record in the NBA at 7-27, played without 13 players who are either injured or on the COVID-protocol list. That includes leading scorer Cole Anthony, who was added to the list just prior to Sunday's game.
Miami's Tyler Herro and Orlando's Hampton were issued technical fouls. Hampton tossed the ball at Herro, and the Heat guard responded in kind.
Herro was ejected with 29 seconds left in the third quarter, picking up his second technical foul, this one for a comment directed at a referee. He finished with eight assists but just two points on 1-for-5 shooting. Prior to Sunday, Herro had zero technical fouls in his three-year NBA career.
That Herro ejection was the highlight of a third quarter that ended with Miami on top, 72-60. The Heat cruised from there to earn the win.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Gary Harris 20
Jimmy Butler 17
R.J. Hampton 5
Tyler Herro 8
Wendell Carter Jr. 14
Omer Yurtseven 15
Gary Harris 4
||Free Throws Made
Jimmy Butler 7
Hassani Gravett 2
Jimmy Butler 3
Freddie Gillespie 1
Caleb Martin 1
Team Stats Summary
Miami will play their next game at home against Washington. The Heat have a W/L % of .571 after a win and .692 after a loss.
Orlando will play their next game at home against Milwaukee. The Magic have a W/L % of .125 after a win and .231 after a loss.