Spencer Dinwiddie was just a little off at times Tuesday night, missing on some shots he usually makes, and was a little out of sync with Jarrett Allen a couple of times on the high pick-and-roll they usually excel at running.
But Dinwiddie made himself a factor by keeping the ball moving and played very well defensively against Wayne Ellington in the fourth quarter, denying Miami’s best 3-point shooter the ball when the Heat were looking to come back.
And it was Dinwiddie’s one steal that stuck the dagger in the Heat. Dinwiddie swiped a pass from Josh Richardson with one hand and led a nice two-on-one break that Joe Harris finished off a textbook feed from Dinwiddie from the other side of the paint.
That gave Brooklyn a 10-point lead with less than two minutes to play and essentially sealed the deal.
No, Allen Crabbe did not snap out of his season-long shooting slump Tuesday night. But when you’re a 3-point shooter who’s not making shots, the best thing you can do is to keep the other team’s 3-point shooter from making them either.
And that’s what Crabbe did very well Tuesday night. Wayne Ellington was just 2-for-8 on the night — all from 3-point range — as Crabbe and other defenders did a very nice job of getting into his space and not allowing him to shoot in rhythm.
Crabbe also did solid work on the glass, didn’t turn the ball over and stayed in motion offensively.
He matched Spencer Dinwiddie with a team-high net of plus-18, so things were obviously going well for Brooklyn when Crabbe was on the floor, even as he continues to struggle with his shot.