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Heat top Nets 122-115 to win 7th straight

MIAMI - Jimmy Butler scored 18 of his 36 points in the third quarter, and the Miami Heat extended the NBA's current longest winning streak to seven games by beating the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 on Thursday night.

Duncan Robinson added 26 for the Heat, who have won seven straight for the first time since Dec. 30, 2017-Jan. 14, 2018. Bam Adebayo scored 20 for Miami.

Mikal Bridges and Lonnie Walker IV each scored 23 for Brooklyn, which had won its last five games against Miami. Nic Claxton was 7 for 7 from the field and scored 16 for the Nets, and Cam Johnson added 16 as well.

Miami lost to Brooklyn on Nov. 1 to fall to 1-4, the worst five-game start in Heat coach Erik Spoelstra's 16 seasons. The Heat haven't lost since and the 8-4 record ties for the fourth-best 12-game start under Spoelstra; the team opened 9-3 on three occasions in that span.

Butler's 18-point third quarter tied his best for any regular-season quarter in a Heat uniform, done on two other occasions. He's also had quarters of 18, 21 and 22 in playoff games for Miami.

For the Heat, it was part of a nine-game, 18-day stretch where they'll play in eight different arenas. The only one they'll visit twice in that span is the United Center in Chicago, where they'll open a two-game set against the Bulls on Saturday night to begin a five-game trip.

Johnson picked up his fourth foul with 3:40 left in the first half, making him the 12th player in the league this season to have that many before intermission — and the second Nets player to do so in as many games, after Claxton did it against Orlando on Tuesday. Johnson's fourth was an offensive foul, drawn by Kevin Love.

It sent him to the bench. It sent the Heat off and running.

They finished the half on a 14-0 run, the last 12 of those coming following Love taking the charge against Johnson, and went into the break up 60-52. The Nets were 0 for 7 with three turnovers in that stretch, the last of those giveaways coming when Butler stripped Royce O'Neale and set up Haywood Highsmith for a layup 4 seconds before the buzzer.

Miami kept the lead for the entirety of the second half.


Nets: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.

Heat: Visit Chicago on Saturday.

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