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No Butler and not much of a shot for Heat in 113-92 loss to Curry, Warriors

MIAMI — One team arrived Tuesday night to Kaseya Center fully loaded, the other significantly shorthanded.

It played out as expected.

On a night the Miami Heat not only were without Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kevin Love, but this time also lacked Jimmy Butler, Erik Spoelstra’s team ultimately was no match for Stephen Curry and his fully ambulatory friends.

So Golden State Warriors 113, Heat 92.

“We could never get it to the moment of truth,” Spoelstra said.

It basically a night of Heat center Bam Adebayo looking for a friend and most of his friendly faces out of view, Butler due to illness, Herro with the foot problem that has had him out since Feb. 23, Love because of the heel issue that has had him sidelined since Feb. 29, and Robinson now a week into an absence with back problems.

Adebayo closed with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Otherwise from the Heat there were 15 points from Haywood Highsmith, 15 from Terry Rozier, 12 from Jaime Jaquez Jr., 11 from Nikola Jovic and 10 from Caleb Martin.

“We were manufacturing other opportunities as much as we possibly could,” Spoelstra said of ultimately what was not good enough.

By comparison, on a relatively benign, by his standards, 17-point night, Curry got the support of 28 points from Klay Thompson, as well as 18 from Jonathan Kuminga and 17 from Andrew Wiggins.

“We had it in a wheelhouse defensively for a while,” Spoelstra said, “then Curry and Thompson hit some threes.”

So make it three losses in the past five for the Heat, who dropped into a tie for the No. 7 playoff seed in the Eastern Conference with the Philadelphia 76ers.

“Our guys understand,” Spoelstra said of the playoff situation. “Our guys are not ignorant.”

Five Degrees of Heat from Tuesday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Heat led 26-24 at the end of the opening period and 55-53 at halftime.

The Warriors then moved to a 13-point lead in the third quarter and went into the fourth up 85-75.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he felt his team changed the energy after halftime.

“In the second half,” he said, “I thought we turned that around.”

The Heat moved back within six early in the fourth, only to see Curry convert a 3-pointer with 7:51 to play for a 94-82 Warriors lead, with Golden State pulling away from there, their lead moving into the 20s.

“If we could have kept it to four to six points, then I think it had a chance to be one of those games that are really gratifying,” Spoelstra said.

“These are must wins for both teams going down the stretch, and they were able to get it done tonight.”

2. Last man standing: As essentially the last man standing among the Heat’s scoring leaders, Adebayo eventually settled in against the defense of Draymond Green, up to 13 points, six rebounds and four assists by halftime.

Adebayo’s first half included remaining on the court at one point in the second period after taking an elbow to the head, having to be helped to the bench, but continuing on without missing time.

“I had to make sure I was all right,” Adebayo said of staying down. “So shook it off and got back to the game.”

Adebayo converted a 3-pointer on his first attempt of the night after his five-game streak with at least one 3-pointer was snapped Sunday against the Cavaliers, when he was able to sit out the fourth quarter.

“We were playing through Bam quite a bit through the post,” Spoelstra said, with Adebayo closing 10 of 21 from the field.

Adebayo said he appreciated the need to try to will offense for his shorthanded team.

“Sometimes you’ve got to go get a tough bucket,” Adebayo said of the required workload.

3. Highsmith again: With Herro and Robinson out and the 3-point game limited, the Heat again saw ample possessions of zone, just as they did against the Pelicans and Cavaliers, their two opponents since Robinson was sidelined.

The initial response was a 4 of 10 first quarter from beyond the arc, with Highsmith picking up where he left off Sunday against the Cavaliers, converting his first three 3-point attempts after going 4 for 4 from beyond the arc Sunday.

Highsmith closed 6 of 7 from the field, 3 of 3 on 3-pointers.

“He’s just playing to his strengths and he’s inspiring right now,” Spoelstra said.

The Heat closed 8 of 33 on 3-pointers.

“We just wanted to find a way to rally around each other,” Highsmith said. “We’re just trying to find a way to get wins.”

4. Foul play: Without Butler’s attack mode, the Heat did not get to the foul line until Jaquez Jr. made it there with 7:11 to play in the third period, converting a pair of free throws after a foul by Thompson.

Jaquez then got back to the line with 5:35 left in the third, for only the Heat’s second trip to the line.

The Heat stood 5 of 8 from the field through three periods. As a means of comparison, Butler this season is averaging 7.9 free throw attempts and 6.8 conversions.

The Heat closed 10 of 13 from the line.

5. The Curry factor: After being limited to 3-of-15 shooting in the teams’ previous meeting, a 114-102 Heat victory Dec. 28 at Chase Center, Curry this time stood 2 of 9 on 3-pointers through three periods.

Highsmith was among those who helped shut down Curry, with the Heat struggling to contain Thompson.

Curry closed 7 of 15 from the field and 3 of 10 on 3-pointers.

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