Jimmy Butler scores 32 as Heat extend win streak to six

The Miami Heat kept the ball rolling with a 111-105  victory over the Charlotte Hornets thanks to Jimmy Butler's best game of the season.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets
Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets / David Jensen/GettyImages
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Jimmy Butler scored 32 points and the Miami Heat Tuesday beat the Charlotte Hornets, 111-105, to extend their win streak to six games.

Butler may have just displayed his breakout game, adding five assists and four rebounds to his season-high in points. After sitting out the entire preseason, Butler started the season posting underwhelming numbers on the offensive end, partly because his field goal attempts were low for someone considered a superstar. 

Jimmy Butler's improved play has a lot to do with the Heat's current six-game win streak.

Butler had an efficient outing Tuesday with 10 made field goals on 14 attempts, which sticks with the plot of his not shooting much. The difference in this game was a season-high 14 free throw attempts. Butler knew when it was time to get aggressive and was able to spark multiple runs for the Heat. 

In true Erik Spoelstra fashion, Miami earned a clutch win in the final minutes of the game. They struggled early guarding shots beyond the arc, but huge defensive performances from Haywood Highsmith and Bam Adebayo slowed down the Hornets' success. 

Adebayo took a back seat role to Butler, but was still able to put up admirable numbers with 21 points, 11 rebounds, and three steals. Highsmith looked like a locksmith in North Carolina, posting five steals and two blocks, to go along with 12 points. 

While the Heat’s bench struggled early in the matchup, they were able to rely on their depth to close out the game. Rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. played the entire fourth quarter, contiunng to get better as the game winds down. The poise and confidence that he’s been able to show just a few games is refreshing for a Heat team that’s going to need true depth later on in the season. 

Jacquez and Josh Richardson played vital roles for Miami, stepping up against a team that plays through the perimeter. The road trip has been able to aid both in finding their responsibility on Miami’s roster. 

With a confident Butler and efficient role players, the Heat head back to Miami for a matchup against the Brooklyn Nets. This will be their one and only home game before embarking on another five-leg road trip. 

Miami is now 2-0 in the In-Season Tournament group stage.

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