Texarkana, TX 41° View Live Radar Sun H 62° L 39° Mon H 58° L 41° Tue H 61° L 47° Weather Sponsored By:

Heat shake up lineup but can't conjure up victory in San Antonio

Heat shake up lineup but can't conjure up victory in San Antonio

December 7th, 2017 by Sun Sentinel in Sports Pro

Miami Heat forward James Johnson (16) is pressured by San Antonio Spurs defenders San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol, left, and forward LaMarcus Aldridge during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, in San Antonio.

Photo by Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO—The first thing the Miami Heat will need when it comes to exploring the possibilities of Kelly Olynyk and James Johnson as their starting power rotation will be a better whistle.

Because with Johnson forced to the bench just 22 seconds into the second half Wednesday night's 117-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center, Erik Spoelstra latest Heat lineup combination essentially was put on hold.

It was all good at the outset, with Johnson scoring nine points in the opening period and the Heat building an early eight-point lead.

But then came the tweet sound of lack of lineup success, the Spurs eventually pressing their pedigree in the fourth quarter, leading to the Heat's fourth loss in five games, despite a season-high 25 points from Tyler Johnson, 22 from Dion Waiters and 19 from Josh Richardson.

The Spurs won for the sixth time in seven games, with scoring balance throughout their rotation, enough to offset the Heat's 18-of-34 3-point shooting.

Spoelstra shuffled his lineup against the Spurs' length, opening with Kelly Olynyk at center and James Johnson at power forward, rounded out by previous starters Goran Dragic, Waiters and Richardson.

The degree of permanency with the grouping will be limited to the length of the absence of center Hassan Whiteside, who missed his fourth consecutive game with the latest bone bruise on his left knee, not traveling on this three-game trip that continues Saturday in Mexico City against the Brooklyn Nets and concludes Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies.

The Spurs continued to play with a makeshift lineup of their own, with All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard yet to make his season debut, due to a quadriceps injury. That had Rudy Gay opening at small forward for San Antonio in place of previous replacement starter

Kyle Anderson, who now is out with a knee injury.

In addition, Spurs reserve guard Manu Ginobili briefly went to the locker room in the first quarter due to a sore knee.

In what had mostly been a back-and-forth game through three quarters, the Spurs took the game's first double-digit lead, at 97-87, early in the final period on a Gay 3-pointer. Prior to that score, the Spurs at one point had held a nine-point lead and the Heat and eight-point lead.

Even with Tyler Johnson up to 21 points by that stage and Waiters at 16, the Heat went into the fourth quarter down 86-82, at 0-10 entering the night when trailing at the end of the third period.

Spurs reserve guard Bryn Forbes, 5 of 5 on 3-pointers to the stage, was up to 17 points entering the final period.

At 9 of 18 from beyond the arc over the first two periods, the Heat moved to a 58-57 halftime lead, with Tyler Johnson up to 11 points by that stage and Dragic with six assists at the intermission.

The Heat pushed to a 35-27 lead going into the second period, with James Johnson up to nine points by that stage.

The Heat shot 6 of 10 on 3-pointers in the opening period, with their first five attempts of the night coming from beyond the arc.

It was not exactly the start expected, with the Heat entering 27th in the league in scoring and the Spurs entering second in the league in defense.

The Spurs won the first game of the two-game season series 117-100 Oct. 25 at AmericanAirlines Arena, led by Pau Gasol's 31 points and 22 off the bench from Gay. The Heat also were without center Whiteside for that game.

The Spurs entered having won eight in a row from the Heat, seeking to sweep the two-game series for the fourth consecutive season. The Heat entered having lost six of their previous seven visits.

The Heat were coming off Sunday's 123-95 loss to the Warriors. The Spurs were coming off Monday's 96-93 victory over the Pistons.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com