Observations and other notes of interest from Friday night’s 124-119 loss to the Denver Nuggets:
– This was a game that begged for more from Kyle Lowry.
– On a night the Heat already were without a starter in Caleb Martin.
– When guile was needed to counter Nikola Jokic.
– Instead, practically a no-show from the veteran Heat point guard.
– Closing with three points on 1-of-5 shooting, three assists and two rebounds.
– Plus an ill-advised late technical foul.
– Now the question becomes whether he plays the second night of the back-to-back on Saturday in Utah.
– Which at least could afford an atonement moment.
– The Heat’s other starters did their parts.
– As did reserves such as Max Strus and Orlando Robinson.
– With Duncan Robinson even making it a record-breaking night by moving past Tim Hardaway on the Heat all-time 3-pointer list.
– But Lowry just wasn’t there, when a motor was needed on offense to keep pace.
– So now Utah almost becomes must win, based on what remains on the trip.
– With the Heat back to .500.
– Still yet to move more than one game above .500 this season.
– With the Heat bench thinned by the decision to hold out Victor Oladipo so he could be available for Saturday in Utah, Strus was kept with the second unit, even with Martin sidelined by a quadriceps strain.
– Instead, Haywood Highsmith was given his third start, stepping into the opening lineup alongside Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Lowry and Tyler Herro.
– The start was Butler’s190th with the Heat, tying him with Josh Richardson for 20th on the franchise all-time list.
– It now looks like Butler will be given Saturday off, as the team previously stated ahead of the back-to-back set.
– The Heat’s first basket was Lowry extending his 3-point streak to 30 games.
– That also was Lowry’s final basket.
– Also out for the Heat was Dewayne Dedmon.
– Whose playing style might not have fit this one, anyone.
– Strus played as sixth man.
– With Orlando Robinson following.
– Robinson essentially stood as the Heat’s only available reserve big man, with Nikola Jovic sent to the G League earlier in the day.
– The haste of that move was somewhat surprising, with the Skyforce idle Friday.
– But Orlando Robinson again was good, very good.
– Duncan Robinson and Gabe Vincent then made it nine deep for the Heat.
– The lone two available players not part of the rotation were Jamal Cain and Udonis Haslem.
– Vincent’s first 3-point attempt was the 600th of his career.
– Duncan Robinson’s appearance tied Kelly Olynyk for 24th on the Heat all-time list.
– Strus’ second 3-point attempt moved him past Jason Williams for 16th on the Heat all-time list.
– Butler’s second free throw moved him past Glen Rice for seventh on the Heat all-time list.
– Butler’s seventh shot moved him past Brian Grant for 17th on the Heat all-time list.
– Adebayo’s third blocked shot tied Chris Bosh for seventh on the Heat all-time list.