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LBJ AND THE HEAT REFUSE TO LOSE
Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Jan 10 2011 @ 2:39 am In Miami Heat | No Comments
For the second game in a row the Miami Heat rallied on the road to take a game into overtime. Once again, the Heat were able to win a game they probably should have lost. The 107-100 victory over the Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden in Portland was another example of how good Miami is, and more specifically, how good their best players are. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh combined for 96 of the teams 107 points. That is just stupid. Plenty of what happened on Sunday night defies logic, but there are plenty of numbers and important facts to take a look at.
The “Big 3″ of Miami didn’t just take over the game late, they were really the only source of offense the entire game. Wade came out of the gates on fire and scored 15 first quarter points on 7/7 shooting. By halftime, the threesome had 42 of Miami’s 46 points. As the second half played out, Portland was giving the Heat some serious problems. Blazer forward LaMarcus Aldridge was doing major damage down low and put up big numbers himself with 31 points and 14 rebounds. As the fourth quarter went on, Miami, even though they were shooting a much better percentage from the field, continued to find themselves down by 5, 6, or 7 points. Then, every time it seemed like Portland was going to pull away, either James or Wade would step up and hit a big shot to reverse the momentum. In the end, LBJ had 44, while D3 dropped 34. The 78 points by a duo came up short of setting a team record, as that mark still belongs to Wade and Michael Beasley, who combined for 83 points against the Knicks back in 2009. This game did, however, mark the first time a Heat player has scored 40 while having a teammate score 30. It was also James’ first 40 point game in a Miami uniform.
Portland never should have let this game go to overtime, but they did. The Heat erased a nine point deficit with about two minutes to play. Once the game went in to the extra period, Miami took over offensively and clamped down on defense as well. The Heat shot over 71% from the floor during overtime while limiting the Blazers to 29% shooting. The result was a seven point win for Miami, their 13th straight win on the road. The loss by Portland snapped their 8-game home winning streak. Like I was saying before, there are plenty of numbers to look at from the game, but the most important facts aren’t the stats. I think the most important thing to take away from this game is that once again Miami didn’t fold under pressure. They were on the ropes, on the road, and came back to win. It seems like LeBron has relaxed a little compared to his Cleveland days, because he knows that Dwyane has his back. For the first time in his life, LeBron doesn’t have to carry the team. Combine that new James attitude with how Bosh has grown into his role and the scariest thing for the rest of the NBA is that this team has yet to play it’s best basketball. Come April, I think everyone, Boston included, should fear the Heat.
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