This was a delicious basketball game. Of course the Miami Heat and their fans will savor the taste more than their counterparts, but if you look at the game from a neutral point of view, it was an exciting NBA encounter.
The first quarter went back and forth with neither team able to sustain a run and build a big lead. The Heat usually remained a few points ahead, but the Jazz would string together one solid possession after another and match Miami bucket for bucket. In the second, Miami was able to extend to a ten point lead before a late run by Utah cut the lead to 56-50 at the break.
The third quarter got off to a great start for Miami, who extended their lead to twelve points, but then the game turned. In a matter of moments the Jazz answered Miami's run and the building came alive. The Heat looked frustrated on offense and started turning the ball over. It looked a lot like that November 9th game, in which Utah overcame a 22-point deficit to win. By the end of the third, the Jazz had taken a one point lead. Coming into this game they were 10-0 in games they took a lead to the fourth quarter.
Thankfully for the Heat, they owned tonight's final period. A James Jones three, then two more by Dwyane Wade highlighted a 15-5 run to take a 94-83 lead. The Jazz would cut into that lead but from then on, every question that was asked, was answered by Miami. Lebron James puncuated the night with an alley-oop dunk with just over three minutes remaining. Then he tipped in a Wade miss. Several free throws later the game was over. Miami outscored Utah 34-20 in the fourth.
For Miami it's their sixth win in a row, pushing them to 15-8 on the season. They are 2-0 on this road trip with a back-to-back remaining against the Warriors and Kings on Friday and Saturday. But for now, savor this one Heat fans. It has to be one of the more satisfying victories of the season to date.