This night, and this road trip, started so promisingly, with Miami winning Friday in Phoenix and the Heat storming to an early 10-point lead in Utah.
Ultimately, though, there was too much to overcome here Saturday --- a second-half eruption by Gordon Hayward, 54.9 percent Jazz shooting, too many turnovers and an off night from Dwyane Wade, who missed 14 of 17 shots.
This 98-83 loss dropped Miami to 22-15, and the road trip becomes substantially more difficult from here, with defending champion Golden State awaiting on Monday, the Clippers on Wednesday, and Oklahoma City on Sunday.
There’s also a game Friday at Denver, where the Heat traditionally struggles.
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The second-half shooting told much of the story. Utah shot 21 for 36 after halftime, Miami 14 for 46.
This one turned on the Heat in the third quarter, with Utah shooting 11 for 17 in the period to transform a four-point halftime deficit into a 72-68 lead after three.
Much of the damage was done by Hayward, who scored 18 in the third, making eight of nine shots.
Hayward closed with 34 points, including 23 in the second half, finishing 14 of 22 from the field, offsetting 24 points from Chris Bosh.
“They read our schemes of what we were trying to do defensively,” Dwyane Wade said.
Making matters worse, Wade scored just eight, closing 3 of 17 from the field, including 1 for 11 in the second half.
He missed the final 6:08 of the third quarter with a strained left shoulder, an injury that required him to go to the locker-room.
Wade said he still doesn’t know what the exact injury is. "It's something that happened with a crossover."
Asked if he’s in discomfort, he said: “There were a few things I couldn’t do. I felt I was able to come back in.”
He said he will see how he feels Sunday before determining his availability for the Golden State game on Monday.
Meanwhile, Goran Dragic, who scored 14 in the first half, finished with only 16. He left just two minutes into the third quarter with his fourth foul --- then sat out for the equivalent of a quarter.
Erik Spoelstra said he could have brought Dragic back sooner than two minutes into the fourth quarter.
But “in hindsight, we were still in control of the game,” Spoelstra said. “I don’t know if it would have mattered.”
The Heat played much of the night against the league’s lowest-scoring starting backcourt of Chris Johnson and Raul Neto, who averaged just 7.7 points combined.
But Miami couldn’t capitalize; Wade and Dragic scored just five combined in the second half.
“I thought we got good shots,” Wade said. “Shots just didn’t go down.”
Also, Dragic and Wade each had four of Miami’s 17 turnovers, and the Heat shot just 41.5 percent from the field.
Luol Deng had another quiet night (2 for 6 shooting, five points). Hassan Whiteside, who received treatment on his bothersome right knee before the game, had 10 points and 11 rebounds but missed three of four free throws in the fourth quarter.
After the game, he said the knee is limiting his mobility “a little bit” but “I’m going to keep playing.”
The loss prevented the Heat from moving nine games above .500 for the first time and also dropped Miami into second place in the Southeast Division, one half game behind Atlanta. Utah (16-20) broke a three-game losing streak.
The Heat led 29-19 after a quarter, thanks to Dragic’s nine first-quarter points and 12 for 17 shooting. The game was then delayed two minutes when confetti slipped through what Jazz officials called a leaky roof.
“We came out with the right mentality and focus,” Wade said.
With Dragic in foul trouble and Tyler Johnson missing the game with his recurring shoulder injury, Beno Udrih was needed for 20 minutes.
Udrih, who entered with 29 assists and six turnovers in his past seven games, committed two turnovers and missed four of six shots.
As soon as Dragic left, Utah took its first lead since the first quarter, at 53-51. The Heat trailed by one when Wade left to the locker-room with his shoulder injury. Frustrated with the game’s turnaround, Spoelstra threw his clipboard to the floor.
The Jazz then went on a run before the Heat closed to within 72-68 after three. But the Jazz kept hitting shots, not only Hayward, but others. Joe Ingles’ two threes pushed Utah’s lead to 80-73 early in the fourth.
“Hayward was in a great rhythm, put us back on our heels quite a bit,” Bosh said.
Said Spoelstra: “They kept on scoring in bundles. [Hayward] is a saby scorer, off drivers, off movement, off pick and roll.”