Adebayo, Jaquez Jr. shine in undermanned victory versus Kings


  • Miami Heat’s balanced offense without key scorers led to a strong victory over the Sacramento Kings.
  • Bam Adebayo and Jaime Jaquez Jr. shined in the win, while Kevin Love made a significant impact off the bench.
  • Sacramento’s fourth-quarter rally fell short against Miami’s clutch plays, with Heat maintaining their winning streak.

The Miami Heat stunned the Sacramento crowd at Golden 1 Center on Monday night, taking down the Sacramento Kings in a 121-110 victory in what was a thrilling game without key scorers Jimmy Butler and Tyler Herro.

Heat star Bam Adebayo scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field, to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. Rookie forward Jaime Jaquez Jr. made some clutch plays in the fourth quarter to go along with 26 points, five rebounds, three steals, and two assists. Veteran big man Kevin Love made a remarkable impact off the bench with 19 points and seven rebounds in over 15 minutes of action.

The Kings had second-year forward Keegan Murray put up a team-high 22 points, five rebounds, and three steals. Star guard DeAaron Fox came next with 27 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals on 13-of-24 shooting from the field. Co-star Domantas Sabonis followed with a triple-double of 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists, his 21st of the season.

Balanced offense for the Heat

Six players scored in double-digits for Miami

Being without Butler, who was out following a one-game suspension, and an injured Herro meant that Miami had to play without 42.2 points of production heading into Monday’s matchup with the Kings.

On the bright side, that also meant there were plenty of points to go around for the team. They emphasized plenty of ball movement and playmaking, ending the first quarter with 10 assists as Adebayo and Duncan Robinson provided six of them.

They continued that offensive rhythm in the second quarter, even after Sacramento took a 10-point lead midway through the period. This is where Love and Haywood Highsmith made their impacts known off the bench, combining for 18 points including three makes from beyond the arc.

Love unleashed once again in the third quarter, scoring his last 10 points that ignited a 17-2 run for Miami entering the fourth. It was another throwback performance for the five-time All-Star, making this his second 19-point display in the last five games. The 35-year-old veteran is averaging 9.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 2.2 assists this season, still presenting himself as an efficient player on both sides of the floor.

“He just allowed us to kind of go retro Kevin Love, where we were just running our offense through him. He’s so clever, physical, smart. For short stretches, he’s every bit as good as he was and you saw that tonight,” -] Erik Spoelstra

When Sacramento attempted a rally in the fourth quarter, that is where Adebayo and Jaquez Jr. stepped in to shut things down. They displayed absolute aggressiveness in getting inside the paint, showcasing their strength and finesse to get difficult shots to go against a Sacramento defense that was desperate for stops to successfully complete the comeback.

Miami Heat – Total Scoring % vs. Sacramento Kings



Bam Adebayo


Delon Wright


Jaime Jaquez Jr.


Kevin Love


Haywood Highsmith


It was a very big moment for Jaquez Jr. to step up in the way he did on Monday, considering the absences of their key offensive leaders in Butler and Herro, by scoring 20 of his 26 points in the second half. The rookie forward is averaging 13 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 1.1 steals on 49.5 percent shooting from the field, as he’s in the running for Rookie of the Year.

“When you’re missing a guy like that, everybody has to step up. He’s such a big part of our team and missing him is something that we obviously feel. But no matter, we’ve still got to play a game. Guys have to step up and we want to do it for those guys.” – Jaime Jaquez Jr.

The Kings’ fourth-quarter rally was too little, too late

Outscored Miami 29-20, including a 25-7 run

De'Aaron Fox

Even after going down as much as 20 points, the Kings refused to back down. Fox, Murray, and Kevin Huerter scored all of Sacramento’s 29 points in the fourth quarter, sparking a 25-7 run that started with 10:30 remaining. It eventually saw them cut the deficit all the way down to two with 3:41 left in the game.

Murray is responsible for kickstarting the run for Sacramento. Of the five three-pointers the team made during that stretch, Murray made three of them as he got to his hot spots and timed his releases perfectly to get some momentum back in the Kings’ favor.

However, the Kings were unable to continue overwhelming their opponent as Miami responded with clutch shots of their own from Adebayo and Jaquez Jr. Those two combined for 14 of Miami’s 20 points in the fourth quarter, indicating themselves as the deciding factors in preventing the Kings from pulling off the comeback win.

Sacramento Kings – Plus-Minus vs. Miami Heat



Domantas Sabonis


Harrison Barnes


Malik Monk


De’Aaron Fox


Keegan Murray


Kevin Huerter


Being 6.5-point favorites entering the game, they disappointed with how they couldn’t take advantage of the limited depth Miami had. It was also frustrating for Fox, who turned the ball over seven times despite scoring 11 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter in the attempted rally.

“They came here and they played well both offensively and defensively. We have to be better. I can’t turn the ball over like I did. But it’s not like they didn’t come in here and make tough shots.” – DeAaron Fox

Basketball watchers who were keeping tabs on Sabonis getting a triple-double can feel free to continue betting in his favor on a game-by-game basis. He has shown the consistency to score, rebound, and pass the ball at an elite level, and with 21 triple-doubles to his name this season, he will continue this level of play moving forward as Sacramento moves forward in their playoff hunt.

The Heat’s hot streak continues

Can they stay perfect on their six-game road trip?

Bam Adebayo

The win puts the Heat’s current streak at four straight. They move up to the sixth seed of the Eastern Conference, jumping over Indiana after they took a 130-122 loss at home to Toronto. They’ll look to remain perfect on their six-game road trip, concluding it with contests against Portland on Feb. 27 and Denver on Feb. 29.

The loss drops Sacramento to the seventh seed of the Western Conference, meaning they would compete for the Play-In Tournament if it started today. They are 0.5 games behind Phoenix and New Orleans while being tied with Dallas. They will look to bounce back in their next matchup against Denver on Feb. 28.


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