Tyler Herro aims to continue his fast start to the season on Monday when the Miami Heat host the Orlando Magic.
Herro followed up his team-high 27-point effort in Miami’s season-opening victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday with 30 points and 10 rebounds in a 102-91 overtime loss at Indiana two nights later. His performance against the Pacers marked the first time in franchise history that a player recorded at least 30 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.
The third-year guard made 12 of 28 shots off the bench while playing a team-high 41 minutes versus the Pacers.
All-Star guard Jimmy Butler finished with 19 points following a 7-of-22 performance from the floor.
“We missed a lot of shots we normally make, myself included,” Butler said. “I’ve got to be better overall.”
Butler wasn’t alone, as the team shot just 38.5 percent from the floor and 27.3 from 3-point range on Saturday.
Veteran Kyle Lowry didn’t play on Saturday after tweaking his left ankle in the season opener, but Heat coach Erik Spoelstra stopped short of labeling his absence as the sole reason for the team’s inconsistent offense versus Indiana.
“That’s a factor. But we should be able to function, at least be able to get into offense and get the ball where it needs to, get the shots that we want up even without him,” Spoelstra said.
Lowry, who is listed as questionable for Monday’s game, has drawn rave reviews by his teammates — namely Herro, Butler and Bam Adebayo.
“Obviously, without Kyle things are much different,” Herro said, per the Miami Herald. “He’s such a leader. The way he gets everybody to their spots and just orchestrates everything for us offensively. We definitely missed him.”
Miami won five of the last six meetings with Orlando, including two of three encounters last season.
The Magic, however, are entering Monday’s clash with a bit of momentum. They answered losing their first two contests of the season by recording a 110-104 victory over the New York Knicks.
Cole Anthony scored 10 points in the first two games of this season before erupting for 29 points and a career-high 16 rebounds on Sunday. That game at Madison Square Garden marked the first double-double in the career of Anthony, who also had eight assists.
Terrence Ross scored all 22 of his points in the fourth quarter for Orlando, which will visit Miami to complete the first of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season.
Magic first-year coach Jamahl Mosley used a 10-player rotation for the third game in a bid to keep his team fresh for the grueling schedule.
“In the preseason, we had some minutes and some days actually where we could prepare for this situation,” Mosley said, per the Orlando Sentinel. “We pushed the guys a little bit harder in practice, going a little harder so they understood what it was like to be in a back-to-back.
“The guys are prepared for it. They understand the minutes they’ll play, how they need to play those minutes when they’re on the floor and understand exactly what they need to do.”
— Field Level Media