Something about seeing LeBron James back at American Airlines Arena brings out the best in the Miami Heat.
Tonight for the second time this NBA season, the Heat put on a dominant 106-92 performance against the Cleveland Cavaliers and did so with a lot on the line. With Chris Bosh out for the season with blood clots Miami has been trading wins and losses since the All-Star break and are locked in a tight race for a playoff spot. Here is the good and bad about arguably the best performance for the Heat this season.
The overall defensive effort set the tone for Miami and that was led by Dwyane Wade. The manner in which he played on both ends of the court finishing with 32 points and five steals showed how important this game was both in emotion and standings. With the Cavaliers resting Kevin Love there was no constant reliable shooter for James to pass to when he was in the paint and the Heat capitalized on the situation by limiting him to ten point in the first three quarters. Miami also won the rebounding battle throughout the game not allowing many second chance opportunities for Cleveland.
The Heat near the end stepped off the gas defensively giving the Cavaliers an opening to possibly steal the game. James got 16 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter which included an uncontested three-point shot in front of the Miami bench.
Highlight Of The Game:
The best play of the game for the Heat didn’t end up in points. In the middle of the third quarter Wade saved the ball at halfcourt and threw a pass to Goran Dragic behind his back and split between James and J.R. Smith. Dragic attempted the layup but was blocked by Smith.