The Miami Heat entered Wednesday night with a chance to swipe the No. 1 spot in the East all by themselves with a win over a scuffling Portland team and a loss by the Bulls against Cleveland.
While mid-January standings aren’t exactly the most important thing in the world, it would be an impressive feat for a Heat team that spent much of December weathering some significant injury absences, along the COVID ins and outs the entire league was dealing with. Now with Bam Adebayo back, the Heat are nearing full strength as they enter the second half of the season — although Kyle Lowry missed the Blazers game for personal reasons.
Already without Lowry, Miami saw its second backcourt star leave the game early when Jimmy Butler got tossed for two technical fouls in succession by two different referees in about 3 seconds of real time.
— Bally Sports Sun: HEAT (@BallyHEAT) January 20, 2022
The first one is absolutely earned, but it certainly looks as though Butler was turning away from the refs and getting the last of his frustration out when the second official stepped in and hit him with a second. It almost looked like the first ref gave the second a look like “don’t do that I just gave him one,” but at that point the second T had been given and Butler was tossed, making Miami’s task all the more difficult for the remainder of the night.