MIAMI – Tyler Johnson and James Johnson are moving up the Miami Heat record books when it comes to bench play.
Tyler’s 23 points Friday during the Heat’s victory over Minnesota was the 18th game this season in which a Heat reserve scored at least 20 points, setting a franchise record.
Tyler Johnson has nine of those, one shy of the individual team record set by Kevin Edwards in 1990-91 and equaled by Michael Beasley in 2008-09. James Johnson has seven and Wayne Ellington has two.
Tyler scored 15 of his points in the third quarter, after Dion Waiters left the game because of a sprained ankle.
Miami’s bench outscored Minnesota’s, 60-26. James Johnson scored 17 points and the two combined to shoot 17-of-25.
“We’ve had this basically all year long, somebody’s out, next man up,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “Our guys don’t blink at things like this. It’s unfortunate but you have to move on and focus at the task at hand and our guys have developed that kind of resolve.
“Tyler and JJ have been a major part of our improvement in the second half of the season on both ends of the court. But with that second unit, they create a lot of actions and triggers for us. Tyler knew that he would have to step up and make some plays for us and he did.”
Tyler Johnson is averaging 13.7 points per game this season, the second-highest average in the NBA by a player with no starts. James Johnson ranks third at 12.1.
Tyler Johnson has 824 points, 243 rebounds and 202 assists while James Johnson has 765 points, 304 rebounds and 220 assists, the only two players in the league this season to score at least 500 points, grab 200 rebounds and dish out 175 assists off the bench.