SACRAMENTO – The Miami Heat had a tough time scoring in their summer league opener. That certainly wasn’t the case Tuesday in Game 2.
Miami came out firing and ran the Lakers off the Golden 1 Center court in an 89-74 victory, evening their record to 1-1 in the California Classic.
Miami struggled in their 79-68 loss to the Warriors in the opener, shooting just 29.3 percent. Against the Lakers, the Heat led by 19 at the half, opened a 31 points lead, and had 79 points after three quarters before cooling off in the fourth quarter. They finished shooting 45.2 percent from the floor, 46.4 percent on 3-pointers.
“I thought it was character building as a team, and as individuals,” Heat coach Eric Glass said. “You get up 20 in the first half you don’t let it go, you just keep grinding and you keep playing each possession like it’s your last. All the clichés that you hear but our guys really started to take it to another level in the second half and I was really happy with that.”
Derrick Jones Jr. led the Heat in scoring for the second straight night, scoring 21 points in 22 minutes. Bam Adebayo had nine points and 10 rebounds.
Here are our three takeaways:
Robinson raining threes: Heat coaches were impressed with undrafted rookie Duncan Robinson even before the former Michigan star showed off his perimeter game Tuesday. Robinson came out smoking, making three early threes and setting the tone for Miami’s night. Robinson, a player the Heat could consider for a two-way contract, finished with 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including making all but one of his six 3-point attempts. The 6-foot-8 Robinson, who shot 41.9 percent on threes during his three-year college career, not only showed off his range but his first two-point field goal was a thundering baseline dunk.
“We made some early so we kind of got some confidence early on, which always helps,” Robinson said. “But I thought the ball just moved a little bit better. (Monday) was our first time playing with each other in a game. So it takes a second to kind of get that feel and I feel like we were a lot better.”
Jones continues to impress: Jones is looking more and more like a bargain after signing a minimum standard contract Saturday. Jones impressed for a second consecutive night. He was 8-of-14 from the floor and had five rebounds, three steals and four blocks. Jones, who had 24 points on Monday, is 15-of-28 from the floor, including 5-of-9 on threes. Jones’ confidence is growing and if he continues at this pace he could push for a spot in the Heat rotation this season. The only thing Jones hasn’t done well is shoot free throws. He is 10-of-19 from the line.
“Just seeing a guy like that, just pure athleticism he thinks is normal,” Adebayo said. “He makes inspiring plays. He goes out there plays his heart out. … I feel like Derrick is a Heat guy. He never got discouraged. He just kept working you you’re seeing the finished product of Derrick right now.”
Heat share the ball: The Heat finished with 27 assists on 33 field goals, quite an improvement from Monday when they had 12 assists on 22 baskets. Daryl Macon, an undrafted rookie out of Arkansas, started after not playing on Monday and lead all players with 11 assists. Macon finished sixth in the SEC last season with 3.9 assists per game.
“He really showed some nice things,” Glass said. “He can defend, he can shoot the ball and he can get in that gap and make plays. That’s not an easy thing to get in that sweet spot make plays.”