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Heat drop near scuffle with worst west San Antonio Spurs – The Denver Post

Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said ahead of Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs that he didn’t reference Spurs’ poor record when speaking to his team.

“It’s just too dangerous,” Spoelstra said before the game.

Although the Spurs entered the game at 7-18 – tied for the worst record in the Western Conference – Spoelstra was prescient as the Heat absorbed a 115-111 loss to San Antonio at FTX Arena .

Miami (12-15) took an early lead Saturday, taking the lead early in the first quarter and holding that lead for the remainder of the period. But San Antonio outscored the Heat 34-28 in the second quarter and took the lead at halftime.

But the Heat came back ahead in the third quarter, thanks in large part to Tyler Herro’s hot shot. The Miami guard knocked down four threes in the third quarter, giving the Heat a seven-point lead with 7:02 left in the third quarter. But that wasn’t enough to keep Miami ahead. Spurs followed suit and had a two-point lead after three periods.

The two teams traded blows in a dogfight in the final quarter, but the Spurs took the lead early in the quarter and held off the Heat’s comeback attempt.

Miami had an opportunity to go overtime with 14 seconds left, but the Heat couldn’t reverse a tie or game-winning shot.

Five degrees of heat from Saturday’s game:

1. Another brutal loss: Miami has already lost a game this week against one of the worst teams in the NBA, losing 116-96 at home to Detroit on Tuesday. Facing one of the worst teams in the Western Conference, the Heat suffered another tough loss against a struggling team.

2. Points in the painting: The Heat entered Saturday’s game giving up a minimum of 44.9 points in the paint this season, but the struggling Spurs still topped that, scoring 54 points in the paint.

Miami’s defense struggled to keep Spurs in check. San Antonio shot 53.8% from the field.

3. Excluding rebound: Another symptom of San Antonio surpassing Miami in the paint was the result on the boards. The Spurs racked up 46 rebounds, while the Heat had 32.

4. Oladipo returns: After missing the first 24 games of the season with a knee injury, Oladipo provided some quality minutes for the Heat on Saturday. He played a season-high 23 minutes and had 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. However, he committed a foul at the end of the fourth quarter.

5. Robinson back in action: Forward Duncan Robinson has missed eight of Miami’s last 11 games with a sprained left ankle, including the Heat’s win over the Clippers on Thursday. But Robinson returned to the field on Saturday, saving himself in the third quarter.

Robinson, who entered the game averaging 17.1 minutes per game, played eight minutes and scored three points.

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