Heat’s Butler plans to keep talking the talk, even after Pelicans deliver silencer; Herro, Love, Robinson remain out

MIAMI — No, he won’t back down. He will stand his ground. But Jimmy Butler also appreciates there ain’t no easy way out.

So petty? Perhaps.

But the Miami Heat forward also said there are no regrets about previous words, even in the wake of his team’s 111-88 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at Kaseya Center.

Heading into the Heat’s sixth loss in their past nine games, the focus had been on Butler saying in the wake of the teams’ previous meeting, a contentious Heat victory Feb. 23 in New Orleans, “We’ll beat them the next time, too. We’re just a better team.”

That wasn’t nearly the case on Friday night, a humbling loss at the start of a critical four-game homestand that continues Sunday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

In the immediate wake of Friday’s final buzzer, the pushback on social media was immediate and to the point.

That included Pelicans forward Naji Marshall posting video of Butler’s February boast with the comment of, “My Volume doesn’t work what he say?????”

Marshall eventually deleted the post, but not before it was re-posted from the Pelicans’ official account, which after the game changed its bio to, “Keeping Receipts” and then posted, “We’re just a better team.”

So, yes, the Pelicans remembered, with coach Willie Green admitting Butler’s bombast provided a boost.

“For sure. It was a little extra,” Green said during his postgame media session. “They said some things in the media. We heard it. And our guys wanted to respond. And that’s the deal.

“That’s what makes this fun. That’s what makes sports fun, is you get a little trash talking back and forth and then you get to go out on the floor and compete against each other. And that’s what it was.”

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Pelicans guard Jose Alvarado agreed.

“Obviously it meant a little bit more to us, too,” he said, “knowing what the circumstances were last game.”

All of which was delivered to Butler as he sat by his locker for his postgame media session.

“I hope it added fuel to the fire. That’s fine,” he said. “They had a great game plan, they made shots. They came here and stole one. I’m going to stick by what I said. We’re still the better team. You can’t win them all. We should have won that one. We damn sure should have. But we’ll be alright.”

Injury report

Tyler Herro (foot), Kevin Love (heel) and Duncan Robinson (back) all remain out for the Heat for Sunday’s game, as is Josh Richardson after his season-ending shoulder surgery.

Jaime Jaquez Jr. has been added to the injury report, with knee/ankle discomfort, listed as questionable. Also dealing with knee/ankle discomfort is Caleb Martin, who also is listed as questionable.

Also, guard Alondes Williams remains on G League assignment.

Robinson hopeful

Having missed the past two games with a back issue diagnosed as left facet syndrome, Robinson said before Friday night’s game he is hopeful of a rapid return, even as he again is listed as out.

“Thankful that it’s not too serious,” Robinson said. “A big thing is making sure that just kind of calm it down. So I’m going to try to play as soon as I possibly can. I’m itching to get back out there. So as soon as I get the clear and OK, I’ll be back out there.”

The Heat shot 13 of 47 on 3-pointers Friday in Robinson’s absence.

“I mean, I want to play obviously as soon as I possibly can,” he said. “So I don’t know for sure when that’ll be. You want to try to be smart about it, because I understand probably down the stretch there’s going to be some managing of it, just from a pain perspective, which I’m ready to embrace.

“But you don’t want to rush back to where it just flares up, where it’s starting back up to day one.”

Moving up

With his 12 points and 10 rebounds Friday, Heat center Bam Adebayo recorded his 185th career double-double, tying Hassan Whiteside for third place on the Heat all-time list, behind only the 221 of Rony Seikaly and 205 of Alonzo Mourning. The double-double was Adebayo’s 36th of the season, four off the career high he set in 2019-20. …

The Heat’s 34 missed 3-pointers Friday were a season high and the fifth most in a game in the franchise’s 36 seasons. The record is 37 misses against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 21, 2021. …

In starting a franchise-record 34th lineup Friday, the Heat moved to third in that aspect in the NBA. The Memphis Grizzlies have started 42 lineups this season, the Portland Trail Blazers 37.