Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro was ruled out of Wednesday's matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies due to a right ankle sprain he suffered at the end of the first quarter. Despite the loss of Herro, Miami claimed their first road win of the season with a 108-102 victory.
Coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game that Herro's X-ray came back clean and that Herro will undergo an MRI Thursday.
Herro suffered the injury with 55 seconds to go in the first quarter when he attempted a floater in the paint. When he landed, his right foot came down on Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr.'s foot and he turned his right ankle. Herro crumpled to the floor, where he remained for several seconds before hopping directly towards the visiting locker room.
"I heard some crunches and cracks in my ankle and I'm like 'yeah, that'll be it.' I actually told the bench like 'I'm done,'" Herro told reporters after the game. "Probably a couple of weeks."
Herro has averaged a team-high 25.3 points this season, to go along with 5.6 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Losing the star guard was a massive blow to Spoelstra and the Heat, but solid games from Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Haywood Highsmith covered the aching of Herro’s absence.
Adebayo was Miami’s leader on both ends of the floor, recording a game-high 30 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocks. He went head-to-head against Jackson, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, and put on a show. Adebayo scored 14 points in the first half and turned up the heat later in the game, marking the highest-scoring fourth quarter of his career with 16 points to help the Heat pull away.
The Heat led for most of the game, being able to control the pace from the tip. They attacked the paint in the first quarter and the game plan didn't change. This ultimately steered shooting opportunities toward both Lowry and Highsmith. Lowry finished the game with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists, all of which are season-highs. Haywood chipped in 14 points of his own and three blocks.
Miami’s win was a great tell tale for Spoelstra, knowing that even with Herro out and superstar Jimmy Butler having an off night, they can rely on their depth. The Heat also had solid minutes from reserves like rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr., who knocked down a vital triple to seal the win for Miami in the final seconds.
The road trip continues in Atlanta this Saturday, where the Heat will likely be without their leading scorer in Herro. The Heat play eight of their next nine on the road.
With the first taste of success on the road, Miami will look to build off this game in search of their fourth straight win.