NBA regular season

Jimmy Butler returns with triple-double to lift Heat over Pelicans

Jimmy Butler returns with triple-double to lift Heat over Pelicans

TRIPLE-DOUBLE. Jimmy Butler returns with fine form as he racks up a triple-double of 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists over the New Orleans Pelicans.

Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports/REUTERS

Jimmy Butler makes a comeback after missing three games due to a sprained ankle

Jimmy Butler, returning from a three-game absence, posted a triple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as his Miami Heat rallied to defeat the visiting New Orleans Pelicans, 113-98, on Wednesday night, November 17.

Butler, who had been out due to a sprained right ankle, had game-highs with his totals for points, rebounds and assists.

He helped the Heat rally from a 15-point first-quarter deficit, leading Miami to its third straight win. That early hole was perhaps predictable given that the Heat were short-handed.

Miami was without six-time All-Star point guard Kyle Lowry, who was rested. In addition, 2020 All-Star center Bam Adebayo (knee), Markieff Morris (neck) and Victor Oladipo (knee) were out injured for the Heat.

New Orleans, which lost for the 14th time in 16 games, was led by Nickeil Alexander-Walker, who had 24 points. Brandon Ingram added 19 points, and Josh Hart had 18 points.

The game featured an oddity with 4:46 left in the third quarter as Miami’s Tyler Herro fired a lob pass from the backcourt, but the ball went in for a 43-foot three-pointer. Herro finished with 19 points, including 12 in the crucial third quarter when Miami took its first lead of the game.

New Orleans started off with a 17-6 lead as Alexander-Walker went 3-for-3 on three-pointers. The Pelicans stretched their lead to 15 points before settling for a 34-21 advantage at the end of the first period.

After making 6-of-13 three-pointers in the first quarter, the Pelicans went dry, making just 1-of-7 in the second. The Pelicans also went seven-plus minutes without a field goal, allowing Miami to cut its deficit to 52-47 at halftime.

Miami took its first lead of the game at 65-64 with 7:28 left in the third as PJ Tucker made a runner in the lane, banking his shot off glass. The Heat surge continued as they ended the third with an 81-70 lead. Miami led by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, cruising to victory. –