(Photo Credit: Issac Baldizon)
The Miami HEAT dominated the Sacramento Kings 122-103 Friday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. The HEAT went on a big run in the third quarter to pull away in the track meet. With the win the HEAT improve to 4-0 on the homestand.
Impact Performance of the Night: Chris Bosh followed up his strong game on Wednesday against the Pacers with a great game against the Kings. Bosh finished with 25 points on 11-of-16 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. Bosh finished at the rim time and time again, off cuts of the basket and in the pick-and-roll. He also had his jumper going, which made him practically unguardable. Going against DeMarcus Cousins, Bosh needed to have a big game and he certainly delivered.
The Deciding Run: The HEAT had been able to score all night against the Kings defense, but were unable to get stops on the defensive end. Miami held a 72-71 with 8:45 left in the third quarter. From there, the HEAT offense kept humming while the defense began to generate stops. Miami went on a 21-6 run over the 5:50 of game action to put things away rather early. Shane Battier knocked down a couple of three-pointers during the run to really push things out of reach.
Play of the Game: It’s not often that you see a defender step in front of LeBron James’ clear path to the basket. Ben McLemore did so in the first quarter, but he was not able to slow James down at all. James elevated over McLemore and threw down a vicious dunk on the rookie. You’ll get to know the play well as it is looped all over the sports highlight shows for the rest of the NBA season.
Efficiency Rating: Offensive Efficiency: 121.8; Defensive Efficiency: 105.6
Trend to Watch: Over the last few seasons, Dwyane Wade has been one of the NBA’s premier post players. Not just for guards, but for all players who average at least on post up a game. In the season’s early going Wade was unable to get his postgame to click consistently. That’s changed over the last week. Wade has dominated opponents on the block during the HEAT’s homestand. He did so again tonight, using an array of spin moves and drop steps to elude Kings defenders. With Wade playing so well in the post, the HEAT can play an inverted offense where he is positioned on the block while Chris Bosh spaces the floor on the perimeter. This arrangement has caused all kinds of trouble for opponents in the past and it did again tonight. Whether it’s health related or just a rhythm thing, Dwyane Wade has gotten his groove back in the post and it adds yet another dangerous dimension to the HEAT offense.
The Takeaway: It’s hard to say for sure, since we weren’t around during the heyday of the American Basketball Association (ABA), but that sure felt like an ABA game with the pace and offense exhibited. Both the HEAT and Kings were brilliant on the offensive end, shooting a combined 60 percent from the floor. The passing on both sides was exceptional and the pace was at full throttle through three quarters. The HEAT won’t get into many track meets like this, but after Wednesday’s slugfest against the Indiana Pacers it was a nice change of pace. The ultimate difference in the game was the HEAT’s ability to string together a number of stops in the third quarter. The Kings couldn’t do the same and they ended up falling into too big of a hole to climb out of. A nice byproduct of the pace of the game was a number of highlights. LeBron James unleashed some otherworldly passes, Ray Allen dunked twice, Dwyane Wade’s quickness and agility was on full display, Chris Bosh got to the rim at will for a series of dunks and on and on. It’s hard to ask more of a Friday night game. It was fast. It was fun. It was entertainment at its best.
Notes: Dwyane Wade finished with 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. LeBron James tallied 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Ray Allen scored 18 points off the bench. Greg Oden and Michael Beasley were inactive.
GIFs: Since we had so many tonight we created a GIF Recap. Check it out here.