Bam Adebayo is in the midst of a streak of 20-point, 10-rebound games of his career, and with Jimmy Butler inching closer to returning from a right toe injury, the timing is fortuitous for the Miami Heat.
Adebayo will attempt to get a 20-10 double-double for a career-best sixth straight game Monday night when the Heat visit the struggling Brooklyn Nets.
Adebayo has at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in five straight games this season for the second time in his career. He also achieved the feat Nov. 6-14 when he matched LeBron James for the second-longest such streak in team history and is four shy of the team record held by Shaquille O’Neal from Jan. 3-21, 2005.
Adebayo kept the streak going by producing 24 points and 10 rebounds in a wire-to-wire 104-87 home win over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday night. Adebayo’s latest big game occurred on a night when the Heat allowed under 90 points for the first time this season and held the Hornets to 34.7 percent shooting from the field.
Adebayo enters Monday with 20 double-doubles after getting 31 last season. Overall, he has compiled 18 with at least 20 points and 10 boards, and the Heat are 10-8 in those games.
Butler has missed the past seven games and 11 of the previous 12 but will travel to Brooklyn in a sign he might return for his first game since Dec. 30 in Utah. While Butler could return, rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. will miss Monday’s contest with a strained left groin.
Adebayo did not play in Miami’s most recent visit to Brooklyn because he was rested on the second night of a back-to-back but collected 41 points and 21 rebounds in the first two meetings against the Nets this season.
Even if Adebayo winds up with another big night, the Nets hope to make enough plays on both ends to start reversing their slide.
The Nets earned a 15-point win over the Heat in the previous meeting to start a 6-1 stretch, but starting with a 131-118 loss at Sacramento, they are 4-13 over the past 17 games.
Brooklyn is returning home before starting a three-game Western trip after never leading in a 111-102 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA’s Global Games on Thursday in Paris.
Mikal Bridges scored 26 points after getting 42 in an overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 7 but also shot 6-of-18 from the field and is shooting 38.9 percent in his past 16 games.
Bridges’ struggle to consistently make shots of late is also part of Brooklyn’s offensive woes. The Nets tied a season low with 34 first-half points, trailed by 26 and were held under 110 points for the fifth time in seven games in a game in which they allowed 39 percent shooting.