Bam Adebayo caps brilliant performance with buzzer-beater to lift Heat over Nets

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USATSI

The Sunday afternoon matchup between the Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat got off to a disappointing start, as Kevin Durant left after just four minutes, joining injured stars James Harden and Jimmy Butler on the sidelines. But while we might not have gotten the game we were expecting, we certainly can’t complain about how it played out.

There were 19 lead changes, 10 ties and neither team led by more than seven points the entire way. In fact the game wasn’t even decided until after the final buzzer sounded, when Bam Adebayo’s short jumper nestled into the net to give the Heat a thrilling win, 109-107.

After Kyrie Irving missed a 3-pointer with just over 20 seconds to play, the Heat had the ball with a chance to win the game. With Butler out, they entrusted Bam Adebayo with the ball, and he delivered in a major way, just as he had all game long. He sized up Jeff Green at the 3-point line, put the ball on the deck and pulled up for a little mid-range jumper that went down.

Adebayo’s clutch shot capped off a brilliant performance, as he finished with 21 points, 15 rebounds, five assists and two steals. That was his third game with at least 20 points, 15 rebounds and five assists, which is already tied for the most in Heat franchise history. 

The only thing that didn’t go right was his celebration. During his on-court interview after the win, Adebayo joked that he “wanted to stand up on the table like [Dwyane] Wade.” Coincidentally, his shot was the Heat’s first buzzer beater since Wade hit one back in February of 2019. 

Thanks to Adebayo’s heroics, the Heat snapped a mini three-game losing streak and climbed back above .500 at 29-28. They’re currently all alone in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, which as it stands would send them to the play-in tournament. Only 4.5 games separate fourth from 10th, however, so there’s plenty of time for them to move up or down the standings. 

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