Wednesday’s NBA Summer League tilt between the Miami Heat and the Memphis Grizzlies was notable for many reasons. Grizzlies rookie Ziaire Williams had a strong game, connecting on four three-pointers, and returnees like Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman showcased their intriguing skill sets. For the Heat, big man Omer Yurtseven was tremendous, scoring 23 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, and DeJon Jarreau put pressure on the opposition with 14 points and 10 assists. The star of the day was Heat guard Max Strus, though, and that star only rose in the final seconds.
While it wasn’t completely unprecedented in Summer League history, this particular contest went to “sudden death.” That may seem strange in basketball but, considering the exhibition nature of Summer League games in Las Vegas, the NBA likes to keep the overtime periods short, with a two-minute allotment in the first extra frame and “first to score wins” format in double overtime. Strus, understanding the rules, gathered the tip-off and essentially walked into a game-winner without so much as a false step.
STRUS ENDS IT IN STYLE 😤
— NBA TV (@NBATV) August 11, 2021
Strus’ long-range connection won the game for Miami but, even before that, he was tremendous. The former DePaul wing finished with a game-high 32 points, including seven three-pointers, and he added nine rebounds for good measure.
The Strus got loose in the first half 👀
🏀 18 Pts (4 threes) pic.twitter.com/cKF9ROnB5b
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) August 11, 2021
The 25-year-old Strus was a rotation player for the Heat at times last season, so this kind of performance doesn’t emerge completely from left field. Still, it was nice to see him getting buckets from beginning to end, and anytime there is a “sudden death” game-winner in the basketball world, it can be described as momentous.