Butler returns to lead Heat past Warriors

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Once Jimmy Butler came back, Miami’s longest losing streak of the season was gone.

Butler had 21 points and 10 rebounds in his return to the lineup and the Heat won in Andre Iguodala’s first game back in the Bay Area, thumping the Golden State Warriors 113-101 yesterday.

“We look like a totally different team when our max player is out there.” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said of Butler. “He makes it look a little bit smoother, a little bit more settled with our offence. The ball gets to the right places. He finds a way to get to the free throw line. All these things that are necessary when you want to win on the road.”

Butler was crisp after sitting out with a right shoulder strain he suffered against the Clippers on February 5. The All-Star forward scored 13 points in the first half, shot nine of 15 overall and had five assists to help the Heat end their three-game skid.

“That’s what my team needs me to do, be that way on both ends of the floor,” Butler said. “We have a couple of new guys that are just as effective as I am. It’s really great and it’s really fun to go out there and compete with them.”

Jae Crowder added 21 points and eight rebounds. Bam Adebayo had 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Kelly Olynyk had 12 points and a career-high 11 assists.

Iguodala, a key member of the Warriors’ three championship teams from 2015-18, had two points and five rebounds in 17 minutes against his former team.

“I don’t know what his plus-minus was but good things happen when he is on the floor, regardless of what happens in the box score,” Spoelstra said.