As the Miami Heat extended their winning streak to three games after beating the Philadelphia 76ers on Christmas Day, the main highlight was rookie sensation Jaime Jaquez Jr. who scored a career-high 31 points and collected 10 rebounds. After the game, Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Jaquez himself spoke about the performance.

The comparisons between Jaquez and Miami star Jimmy Butler have been well-known for sometime now, but add another aspect to the list made by Spoelstra. He admitted after the game that he didn't call a single play for Jaquez in the second half, but still found a multitude of ways to make an impact and get a basket, which he said Butler could easily do.

“That's very similar when you say something like that about Jimmy [Butler]. You wouldn't do this with Jimmy,” Spoelstra said. “But, Jimmy literally can just play the entire game without the ball and figure out how to get 20 points without a play call if you challenge them to do that and all those plays in between you and just dominate all that.”

What is the exact key for Jaquez to make plays like that? He said to the media after the game that it was rebounding and when getting into transition, you can find avenues to effect the contest.

“Just rebounding honestly, I know that was a big emphasis in the scouting report. They're a great rebounding team so we needed to get those,” Jaquez said. “So I was put an emphasis on just trying to get boards. When you get boards, you don't need to play called for you because you got the ball transition. So you just try to find a way to impact the game in many different ways.”

Jaquez and Spoelstra talks about the star-studding performance

Jaquez joins legendary company as basketball greats like Michael Jordan and LeBron James scored 30 points on Christmas Day. Also, the UCLA product became only the fifth rookie to put up at least 30 points and 10 rebounds on Christmas Day per StatMuse as he spoke to the media about his special day.

“Definitely special. Great to get a win and career night on Christmas,” Jaquez said. “You know, I grew up watching these games to be able to play and have a career night. I just go back to all the hard work and late nights in the gym. Just preparing for a moment like this.”

Spoelstra is now 9-0 on Christmas Day games as a part of the Heat's 12-2 record on the holiday. Speaking about the rookie, he explains why Jaquez is different than any other first-year player, as it deals with what he had to do in college basketball.

“There's one thing to be a four year college player and not to have impact winning or you're four year college player who had to break his way into rotation, had to learn how to be a role player, learn how to earn more minutes, more opportunities, play in hostile environments, find different ways to win in the tournament,” Spoelstra said. “I think all that does does matter, at least to us. He has a moxie, and an experience level that kind of transcends his age.”

Jaquez talks about what “Heat basketball” means

In terms of the actual game against the 76ers, it was a dogfight from the first to the last period. The Heat had a 21-point lead and were trailing in the third quarter before they turned it around and out-lasted Philadelphia in the fourth. Jaquez said that's been the style of “Heat basketball” all season.

“I think that's just the way Heat basketball has been this year. All the days are a rollercoaster when it comes to playing in this league and trying to get wins,” Jaquez said. “Great team effort. I think overall, we got stops when we needed to get stops. I thought we shared the ball really well. Got great looks and came out with a W.”

The Heat now start a five-game roadtrip, but have two more games until the end of the year of 2023 as they travel to face the Golden State Warriors and Utah Jazz. Miami is 18-12 on the season which puts them at fifth in the Eastern Conference.