Tyler Herro led the Miami Heat to a dominant, 115-106, win on the road over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday. Here's what happened.
Top performer: Tyler Herro
The return of Tyler Herro to the Heat’s offense has truly excelled Miami’s efficiency. Herro hasn’t shown any sign of rust after missing 18 games with a right ankle sprain, taking over in Orlando with 28 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Right off the tip, Herro found his shots, scoring 10 points in the first quarter. He controlled the offense for four quarters and whenever Herro was on the court the offense seemed to surge. Herro showed a great ability to facilitate the ball when penetrating toward the basket and set up solid shooting nights from a few role players.
Herro’s never been advertised as a versatile player, or one that can make an impact on both ends, but that’s exactly what he’s been since his return. He displayed control and aggressiveness on the defensive end that isn’t often seen from the team's top scorer. Herro was poised and a vocal leader in Miami's win over a division rival.
Why the Heat won: Bench production
Head coach Erik Spoelstra has spoken about the Heat’s depth from the very start of the season and Wednesday night was an indicator of how good Miami could be. With two key players sidelined in Jimmy Butler (calf strain) and Kevin Love (stomach illness), Spoelstra went deeper into his bench to find contributors.
Miami had four players in double-figures, with a tremendous 51 points from the bench. There were spurts of quality plays from a couple bench pieces like Thomas Bryant (12 points) Josh Richardson (12 points) and Haywood Highsmith (14 points).
From the starters to the bench, the Heat didn’t skip a beat. They held the game plan tied with a strong assist-to-turnover ratio, dishing on 25 of the team's 40 made shots. It seemed like all the pieces of Miami’s puzzle were ready to bounce back after a tough home loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The effort from all parties on Miami’s end cannot be overstated.
Stat of the game: 51.7%
The Heat lit up the stat sheet in Orlando from beyond the arc. Miami shot 51.7% from downtown, with three players punching in four triples. Herro, Richardson, and Highsmith were responsible for 12 of Miami’s 15 made 3s.
Orlando had an opposite night in the 3-point realm, shooting 9-of-36 from beyond the arc at 25%. Miami’s defense was incredible in switching through schemes of a heavy press, to 2-3 zone, to trapping off high ball screens against a team that likes to play through its guards and wings.
In the modern NBA, it’s important to hold the advantage in 3-point shooting, and Spoelstra seemed to make that a point of emphasis Wednesday. The Heat made sure to put themselves in the best position to bury 3-point chances with ball screens and kick-out passes, while halting those opportunities for the Magic.