Jimmy Butler-led Heat defeat Nets for 7th straight win

Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 36 points and added five rebounds, three assists and three blocks, leading the host Miami Heat to their seventh straight win, a 122-115 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

Butler, who scored 18 of his points in the third quarter, made 12 of 19 shots from the floor, 2 of 5 from 3-point range and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.

Mikal Bridges and former Miami Hurricanes star Lonnie Walker IV led Brooklyn with 23 points each as the Nets played without their leading scorer (Cam Thomas) and their leader in assists and rebounds (Ben Simmons), both due to injuries. Brooklyn’s Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 points and a game-high seven assists.

The Nets were the last team to beat the Heat, as they defeated Miami 109-105 on Nov. 1.

Miami got revenge on Wednesday, getting a season-high 26 points from Duncan Robinson, who was 6-for-10 on 3-pointers. Bam Adebayo added 20 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Heat reserve Caleb Martin returned after having missed 10 straight games due to injury. He scored six points in 12 minutes.

Despite shooting just 38.1 percent from the floor, Miami led 30-27 at the end of the first quarter. Brooklyn shot 52.9 percent, but Miami had a 7-0 edge on second-chance points.

The Heat closed the second quarter on a 14-0 run and went into halftime with a 60-52 lead. Butler led all first-half scorers with 16 points. Bridges led the Nets with 13 points.

Miami stretched its lead again in the third, ending the quarter with a 95-83 advantage. Butler was dominant in the quarter, making 6 of 9 shots from the floor and 6 of 7 from the foul line. Walker had 13 points in the quarter – including a coast-to-coast layup at the buzzer – to keep Brooklyn close.

The Heat were never seriously challenged in the fourth quarter, and they finished the game shooting 51.9 percent from the floor, including 15 of 35 from deep (42.9 percent). They also made 23 of 24 free throws.

Brooklyn shot 47.1 percent from the floor and made 14 of 36 3-pointers (38.9 percent). The Nets were 21-for-27 from the foul line.