PHILADELPHIA— Few in the NBA make as much out of less than James Jones.
So Wednesday night, in a flash of 3.2 seconds, the veteran 3-point specialist managed to score more points than any other Miami Heat reserve scored the balance of the night against the Chicago Bulls, draining consecutive 3-pointers.
Actually, Jones achieved his six-point night in 2.2 seconds, removed for the intervening Heat defensive sequence.
In the wake of the 106-102 loss at the United Center, the question was whether accounting for two of the Heat's six 3-point conversions and six of the Heat's 15 bench points might lead to more time amid this continued injury absence of swingman Mike Miller.
Jones, though, seems to know better, having been through the drill these past two seasons.
"I'm not expecting that if I make shots that I'll continue to play, not expecting that if I miss shots that my number won't be called," he said, as the Heat looked ahead of Friday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, the final stop on this three-game trip that has opened with losses to the Orlando Magic and Bulls. "For me, I know my role for this team is to be able to make shots at a moment's notice and to just have a free-and-clear mind."
So with 10 seconds remaining Wednesday, he drained his first shot of the night, a 3-pointer that drew the Heat within 102-99. With 6.8 seconds to play, his 3-pointer made it 104-102.
It was as close as the Heat would get. But on a night when there was LeBron James and Dwyane Wade and little else, Jones again provided hope that he is there if needed, when called upon.
"We all know what James is capable of," said James, who scored 35 points against the Bulls, but only two in the fourth quarter. "Hopefully he continues to get minutes, continues to get out there with us.
"We love him on the floor. He has no fear, no conscience. Every time he shoots the ball, we believe it's going in. And for the most part, it is."
Coach Erik Spoelstra was not as forthcoming when it came to discussing Jones' time on the floor going forward
"We'll see," he said after utilizing Jones for 14:41, less than all four of the other reserves utilized other than seldom-used center Dexter Pittman. "But he's definitely going to play while Mike is out, anyway. Our late-game execution, in general, has been much better, anyway."
But few can do what Jones can, come off the bench cold and heat up in an instant.
"I mean, I don't have that ability, so I can't even talk to that ability," said guard Dwyane Wade, who scored a season-high 36 points against the Bulls, including 19 in the fourth quarter. "I mean, that's special. You give a lot of credit to guys like that.
"But he works hard. When he's not playing, when he's not getting his opportunities he's still working just as hard. Like we said, credit goes to him for being a professional."
Jones now needs three 3-pointers to tie Antoine Walker (221) for 12th place on the Heat's all-time list and seven more to tie Damon Jones (225) for 11th.
"We're all big supporters of J.J.," Wade said. "And, obviously, with Mike going down, it gives him an opportunity to get back into the flow of the game with us."
But Jones has resigned himself to such opportunities being fleeting.
"I'm a pro and I know the work I put in every day," he said. "So I don't think my lack of playing time is an indictment on my skill. It's more of my position, my role with this team."