Hopefully tonight was a preview of things to come from D-Wade.
The Heat did exactly what they needed to do on Monday night at the AAA, come out focused, play hard and execute. Doing all that, Miami was able to come away with a nice 105-94 victory over the Washington Wizards. You could tell that the team was really pushing in the early stages of the game, turning the ball over a few times while trying to find their rhythm.
Dwyane Wade had a very rough go of it in the 1st half, shooting just 1-for-7 and scoring 4 points. He hurt himself going up for a dunk when he was hit on the wrist, and had to briefly come out of the game. The Heat called Wade's injury a hangnail issue, and Dwyane came back into the game with a bandage over his right thumbnail.
Wade took things over for a while during the 3rd quarter, looking like the dominant D-Wade that Heat fans have grown accustomed to seeing in recent years. He scored 15 points in just 6:17, making 4-of-5 from the field and hitting all 7 of his free throws in that span.
It was another solid game for the Big 3, with each one reaching the 20-point plateau. LeBron led the way with 30 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists, hitting 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. D-Wade finished with 26 points, 8 boards and 6 assists. He also went a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line. Chris Bosh had a rough shooting night, making just 5-of-14, but he still managed 20 points and 7 boards.
Tempers flared up late in the 3rd quarter when Joel Anthony was pushed in the side by Hilton Armstrong while attempting to finish on what should've been a gimmie dunk. Anthony went flying to the floor and Armstrong was immediately pushed to the floor by Juwan Howard. There was a little pushing and shoving afterwards but nothing more would happen.
Armstrong and Howard would be ejected, with Armstrong getting issued a Flagrant-2 for his foul on Anthony. That wasn't the end of the physical play though. A few minutes later with about 8 minutes left in the game, James Jones and Kirk Hinrich got in each others faces while Jones defended Hinrich on the perimeter. Both would get called for technical fouls.
Overall this was the focused, physical and hard-nosed game that Erik Spoelstra was hoping for out of his team. They are searching for an identity and in need of wins, and last night they put their hard hats on and went to work against an overmatched team in the Wizards.
- This was the first time Miami scored 100+ points in their last 7 games.
- Carlos Arroyo came back to earth, missing both of his shot attempts and finishing with 0 points.
- James Jones hit a pair of treys and now has multiple 3-pointers in consecutive games. He is 5-of-10 from downtown over his last three.
- Erik Dampier had a solid outing for Miami, scoring 3 points and grabbing 5 boards in 12 minutes.
- Joel Anthony played well for the 2nd straight game, and was rewarded with 22 minutes. He scored 6 points, collected 4 rebounds and blocked 2 shots.
- Big Z quietly had 4 points and 6 boards in 13 minutes.
Miami has gotten their week off to a good start, and will look to keep the ball rolling on Wednesday when the Detroit Pistons come to town.