The Rundown: Heat cruise past Pacers, Brunson carries Mavs

Published December 22, 2021, 1:50 PMMiguel Flores

The depleted Heat dominated the visiting Pacers, while Jalen Brunson led the Mavs’ attack against the Timberwolves.


Heat 125, Pacers 96

Knicks 105, Pistons 91

Pelicans 111, Trail Blazers 97

Mavericks 114, Timberwolves 102

Suns 108, Lakers 88

What went down

The Miami Heat, with a convincing win over the Indiana Pacers today, are 19-13 and tied for fourth in the East. None of this should seem too remarkable since the Heat have been favorites to come out of the conference since the offseason.

Except it is very remarkable. The Heat again played without their two best players in Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who have only played 18 games each this season and might miss the rest of December and early January.

Despite all that, the Heat have compiled the seventh-best offensive and defensive rating this season. They’ve done this thanks to solid play from 35-year-old Kyle Lowry and increased contributions from role players like Tyler Herro, Gabe Vincent, Max Strus, PJ Tucker, and Dewayne Dedmon. Heat Culture might seem passé at this point but the next-man-up mentality in Miami has truly been remarkable.

Big-time baller

It was going to be an uphill battle for the Dallas Mavericks today, having to face the Minnesota Timberwolves without the resting Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis. The Wolves were missing Anthony Edwards but still had Karl Anthony-Towns and D’Angelo Russell to spearhead their attack. 

Luckily, Jalen Brunson was up to the task, dropping 28 points, six assists, and three steals to lead the Mavs to their 15th win this season.

Brunson started the season playing short minutes off the bench and has carved out a big role as the Mavs’ starting point guard. That's a lot of value coming from a former second-round pick.

What he said

Adam Silver said the NBA is NOT cancelling Christmas.

Did you see that?

Forget NBA Christmas. Call it A Charlie Brown Christmas miracle.

The NBA Hall of Fame also announced the candidates for the 2022 class. It's pretty stacked with four-time NBA champ and Olympic gold medalist Manu Ginobili, four-time WNBA champ and two-time Olympic gold medalist Lindsay Whalen, and do-it-all forward Shawn Marion making the list.