);
Miami Heat

Miami Heat edge Utah Jazz in hard-fought inter-conference battle

The Utah Jazz could have used a marquee win like a tough road victory over a team like the Miami Heat to propel their season in the right direction but came up just short.

The Heat continue to be one of the most plesant surprises of the season, as a team effort with six different players scoring in double figures helped them fend off a late push from the Jazz.

Jimmy Butler again looked like an All-Star, scoring a team-high 20 points to spark the offence. Bam Adebayo had another strong performance - this time in a matchup with the reigning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year in Rudy Gobert - stuffing the stat sheet for 18 points, 12 rebounds, six assists, three steals and three blocks.

And speaking of Gobert, Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. threw down this dunk of the year candidate on the elite rim protector.

But just as it's happened all season, Miami received a burst off offence from one of their stand-out rookies - this time, it was Tyler Herro. The 13th overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft went for 17 points off the bench, including a clutch nine points in the fourth quarter.

The Heat used a 17-4 run in the final quarter to spoil a season-high 27 points from Aussie forward Joe Ingles.

Ingles continues to step up as a starter in the absence of Mike Conley Jr. He scored his season-high by way of seven 3-pointers, while also recording four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

His team-high in points gave them a chance to win this one, along with and 18-point, 20-rebound double-double from Gobert. At the end of the day, Utah needed more from star guard Donovan Mitchell, who finished with just 13 points shooting 5-for-18 (27.8%) from the field and 1-for-6 (16.7%) from 3-point range.

With the win, the Heat advance to 22-8 and are in sole possession of third place in the East. In a loss, the Jazz slide to 18-12 on the season and are holding down the No. 6 seed in the West.

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