(Photo Credit: Layne Murdoch)
The Miami HEAT beat the previously unbeaten New Orleans Pelicans 108-95 Wednesday night at New Orleans Arena. The HEAT improved their record to 5-2 this preseason with just one game remaining.
-Dwyane Wade scored 25 points and added seven assists and three steals. Wade was excellent in his 33 minutes, beating Pelican defenders off the dribble and in the post. Whenever Wade felt he had a size advantage, he took his man into the post where he scored with relative ease. When he didn’t use his post game, Wade used his speed and ability to change directions quickly to blow by defenders. He also had his jumper falling, which made him extremely difficult to defend. With the regular season less than a week away, Wade looked very sharp.
-LeBron James finished with 27 points, four steals and three rebounds. He got his outside game going, hitting three three-pointers. James also had a few finishes off of sharp cuts to the rim, taking advantage of times when the Pelicans defense collapsed. Defensively, James was a terror, being disruptive all over the floor.
-Chris Bosh continued his strong preseason play with 14 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Bosh’s work as a facilitator was very strong. His behind the back bounce pass early in the first quarter was an eye-opener. Bosh hit a three-pointer, something he’s continued to add to his game.
-Ray Allen and Chris Andersen gave the HEAT a big boost off the bench, combining for 22 points.
-The story of the night was Greg Oden’s appearance. Oden played a shade under four minutes, his first action since December of 2009. In his limited minutes, Oden finished with two points, two rebounds and a couple of really nice contests. His points came on his first touch, which resulted in a thunderous dunk. His performance was great, but all that matters is that Oden was able to play. It’s been a long road back for him, and seeing Oden run up and down the floor was great for any basketball fans lucky enough to be watching. There’s still much work to be done, but tonight was a huge step forward.
The HEAT wrap up the preseason on Friday night.