The Miami Heat is guaranteed to win the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.
Not only because it is an exhibition designed to celebrate the best of the competition, but also because the Heat was represented in both teams. Heat wing Jimmy Butler played as a member of Team LeBron, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and his staff coached Team Durant.
In the end, it was Butler’s team that came home with the win. Team LeBron took a 163-160 win over Team Durant at Cleveland’s Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Sunday night to wrap up the All-Star Weekend.
Butler finished with two points on 1-on-2 shooting, one assist and two steals in nine minutes from Team LeBron’s bench.
It was the second All-Star Game in which Spoelstra has served as head coach, as he also earned the honor in 2013. Butler has been named an All-Star six times during his NBA career, with his first appearance in the showcase game coming in 2015.
But Sunday was only the fourth All-Star game in which Butler played, as he missed the 2016 game with an injury and was postponed in 2018 due to half-time. Sunday also marked the first time Butler, 32, had been a member of the winning team of the four All-Star games he has played in.
Butler played the last 3:49 of the first quarter before his first stint of the night. He missed his only shot attempt, a corner kick three, during this piece.
The second quarter was a bit more eventful for Butler, who scored two points, one assist and two steals playing the first 5:31 of the period. His only basket came on a 4.5 foot one-legged fadeaway jumper after an assist from Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic.
Butler didn’t play in the second half.
As part of the relatively new All-Star Game format, Team Durant and Team LeBron played for their own respective beneficiaries, and the teams competed to win each of the first three quarters. Team Durant played for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Team LeBron played for the Kent State I Promise Scholars Program.
Each of the first three quarters started with the score 0-0 and lasted 12 minutes, with the winner of each quarter receiving $100,000 for their organization.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter, the game clock was turned off and a Final Target Score was established. The final target score was determined by adding up the leading team’s total score to three-quarters and adding 24 points, and it ended when a team takes a basket or free throw to reach or exceed that number.
The winning team (the team that reached the Final Target Score first) earned $150,000 for its organization. Each organization started the All-Star Game with a contribution of $150,000.
On Sunday, the final target score was 163, with Team Durant entering the fourth quarter with a 139-138 lead. But Team Durant was defeated 25-21 in the final period, as Golden State’s Stephen Curry led the way for Team LeBron with 50 points on an All-Star record of 16 threes made.
Sunday’s halftime included a 35-minute ceremony honoring the NBA’s 75th anniversary team. Former Heat players Ray Allen, LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton and Dwyane Wade were all on the list of the 75 greatest players in NBA history, and Heat scout Bob McAdoo also made the switch.
With the All-Star Weekend coming to an end on Sunday, Butler and Spoelstra now have a few days off before they start training again on Thursday. The Heat resumes its schedule on Friday against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
This story was originally published February 20, 2022 22:55.