The Miami Heat broke their seven-game losing streak with a 115-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday. Head coach Erik Spoelstra talked about the urgency around the locker room to get back into the win column and the Heat did just that after what appears to have been a vital film session on Tuesday.
Why the Heat won: Season-high 38 assists
Miami looked like a brand new team from what its shown in the new year. The Heat secured a season-high 38 assists, with four players notching five or more assists. Terry Rozier led the team with 10 assists on the night, while Tyler Herro had eight of his own.
The unselfishness that a scorer like Rozier showed was the key factor for Miami taking the win. He ended the game with 10 assists, the most by any Heat player this season, finding a way to get on the stat sheet on a night where he shot 1 of 8 from the field. Rozier finished the game with three points, but his playmaking off penetration, five rebounds, and two steals proved why he is a perfect fit for Miami.
Spoelstra’s squad found a way to get the ball to an open man in many different ways. The Heat were able to drive and kick, have success on the pick and roll, and pass with ease off the post. They played their best all-around game in a long while.
Game ball: Josh Richardson
Josh Richardson took this game personal. From the moment he stepped on the floor Richardson made a massive impact for the Heat. Richardson had a season-high 24 points, scoring 13 in the second quarter. He shot a ridiculous clip of 6 of 10 from distance, helping the Heat attain a 46.4% average from 3-point range.
He was the spark the Heat needed whenever Sacramento was inching back and added eight points in the fourth quarter to squash any hopes of a comeback for the visiting team. Richardson was also a tremendous anchor on the defensive end. He represented the true hustle and grit Miami has been lacking for the past few weeks.
As he continues to gain comfort in his first year back in Miami, he’s closing in on becoming the Heat’s most important bench piece. He’s one of the most versatile players on the team and showcased that on both ends against the Kings.
Quote of the game
Spoelstra finally addressed the media with a smile and a sigh of relief. He mentioned that it’s just one day, but the Heat are building through previous struggles. The veteran coach believes the hardships Miami has been through will help the Heat endure through the season.
“The group poured a lot in the last 24 hours. Poured into this process, poured into each other," Spoelstra said. "We started to work through solutions for one day, but it sure feels a lot better than where we were."
Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 31 points, while Bam Adebayo tallied 16 and Tyler Herro scored 14. The Heat are a team that strives through a deep roster. Spoelstra believes no matter who the leading scorer is at the final buzzer, a collective game needs to come on both ends of the floor.