[Miami, FL] On Sunday, the Miami Heat wanted to pick up a win at home against the Houston Rockets. Making that task much more difficult: Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh would be sitting this one out to rest their injuries.
No worries as LeBron James and the bench came to play.
The Rockets were on fire early on in the first. Houston started the game off on a 13-4 run, allowing them to build a 23-10 lead. Chandler Parsons scored 7 points and had an assist for Houston. But, Miami did manage to rally, ending the quarter on a 12-4 run.
At the end of the 1st quarter, the Rockets were up 27-22.
Joel Anthony and Norris Cole combined to score 13 points in the second, which helped get Miami back in the game. Miami actually outscored Houston 23-17 in the quarter. At halftime, the Heat were up 45-44.
The Rockets went right back at Miami to start the second half. Parsons scored 12 points in the third quarter alone, helping Houston to build as much as a 9-point lead. But, in the final 2 minutes of the quarter, the Heat went on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 2.
At the end of the third quarter, the Rockets were up 69-66.
The fourth quarter turned into and battle of wills as King James imposed his, scoring 11 points and making clutch plays down the stretch. The game was tied at 83, with 2 minutes left, when James stepped up and hit a 3 pointer.
On the next possession for Miami, Mike Miller sunk a three to put Miami up by 6. Momentum and the crowd were also on their side at this point. The final score was Heat 97, Rockets 88.
LeBron James scored 32 points and had 8 rebounds. Norris Cole scored 16 points and had 4 rebounds (he looks playoff ready). Mike Miller and Joel Anthony had 11 points each.
“I don’t talk about whether I’m the MVP or not,” said James. “The voters will vote. Just to be in the race, to hear my name in the race with (Durant) and some of the other great athletes … we have in the league, is very humbling.”
So, What Happened Against The Wizards?
On Saturday, the Miami Heat were visited by the underwhelming Washington Wizards. With the win, the Heat would be that much closer to securing the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs (a “W” against the Wizards would have them tied up with the Chicago Bulls).
But they would have win without Chris Bosh, LeBron James and – eventually – Dwyane Wade.
Everything was going bad in the first quarter for Miami. Then, at the 9-minute mark, Dwyane Wade’s left index finger got caught in Jordan Crawford‘s jersey. He dislocated it and did not return to the game. The Heat would have to finish this one without the Big Three on the court.
Kevin Seraphin scored 8 points for Washington. At the end of one, the Wizards were up 23-15.
The Wizards kept at Miami in the second. John Wall scored 7 points and 2 assists. Mario Chalmers scored 6 points and Joel Anthony scored 5 points. Neither team was able to get anything going, really. At halftime, the Wizards were up 45-37.
Miami showed some life in the 3rd quarter. James Jones scored 9 points off of a trio of 3 pointers, which helped bring Miami back from a 12-point deficit to a 3-point deficit. But, Washington held strong and did not let Miami take the lead.
At the end of three, the Wizards were up 63-62.
It was a wild fourth quarter in Miami. Both teams went at it hard, the lead changing hands many times. With 2:39 to go, the crowd went wild when Mario Chalmers drove in the lane, made the lay-up and got fouled, which tied the game.
With 1 minute left, the game was tied at 82. Washington’s Wall drove in and passed it to Nene, who slammed it home to take a 2-point lead.
Then, with 11 seconds left, Shane Battier stole the ball, gave an outlet pass to Mario Chalmers who drove in the lane, missed the layup, but Udonis Haslem came right from behind and cleaned up the play with a dunk.
The game was tied at 84, and with 0.5 seconds left, Wall once again drove into the lane and it gave it to Nene, who laid it in to take the lead. On Miami’s next play, Mike Miller tried to shoot a 3 pointer, but time had expired before he could get the shot off.
The final score was Wizards 86, Heat 84.
John Wall dominated for Washington, scoring 13 points and handing out 13 assists. For Miami, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem combined for 25 rebounds. Miller also scored 16 points and Mario Chalmers – who had a solid performance – also scored 16.
Wade didn’t seem too worried about the injury to his finger (the x-rays were negative).
“They told me the worst-case scenario was surgery,” he said. “I’ll be prepared and ready for the playoffs … . It’ll be an adjustment, but I’m blessed that it’s nothing worse.”
By: Michael Tristani II/Sunshine Slate
Lead image: Copyright NBAE 2012 (Photo: Mike Ehrmann/NBAE/Getty Images)