[Miami, FL] With all of the ups and downs the Miami Heat have been experiencing as of late – punctuated by that horrific loss against the Boston Celtics – the boys were eager to get a win at home against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Complicating things, however, was the fact that Dwyane Wade was sitting this one out with a knee injury, so Shane Battier filled in for him. Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra also made another line-up change by putting center Ronny Turiaf in the center position for Joel Anthony.
“It certainly at all isn’t an indictment on Joel Anthony,” Spoelstra said diplomatically. “We still need to iron some things out and he’ll still be a big part of what we’re doing.”
Against Boston, LeBron James scored 23 points, but it seemed as if he was quiet the whole game. But things were different against the 76ers, as he played loud, and seemingly no one could stop him.
James and Mario Chalmers dominated in the first quarter, with King James leading the pack with 12 points and 2 rebounds. Chalmers contributed great all-around play with plenty of superb passing to go along with his 8 points and 2 assists.
Both teams stayed within a two-point window, until Miami finally went up by 6. But the 76ers fought back. At the end of one, the Miami Heat were up 29-27.
Miami Heat get a much-needed win against Philadelphia
Philadelphia – led by Evan Turner – came at Miami hard in the second. The visitors sparked an 11-4 run, with all 11 of those points courtesy of Turner. From there on, only four more players were able to score for Philadelphia, and none of them scored more than 4 points. At halftime, the 76ers were up 54-51.
LeBron & Co. took the lead back from Philly in the third quarter. James scored 8 points and had 2 assists. Chalmers also contributed, pouring in 7 points. At the end of three, the Heat were up 76-70.
In the fourth, James again rose to the occasion, scoring 15 points and playing great defense on Turner, who has shown the ability to score at will unless pressure is applied. Pressure was applied. At the end of the game, the final score was Heat 99, 76ers 93.
LeBron James had one of those all-star nights, scoring 41 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Mario Chalmers also played big, scoring 19 points and handing out 4 assists. Chris Bosh scored 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting.
Coach Erik Spoelstra was impressed with Shane Battier, not because of his 4 points, but because of his leadership.
“What he really brought us, stability,” Spoelstra said. “We needed his voice and his leadership in the huddle in the first half. His voice allowed us to stay the course and get ready for a strong second half.”
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Images: Copyright 2012 NBAE (photo: Issac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty Images)