Chris Bosh cooled off while Dwyane Wade took another game off but no need to worry as LeBron James picked up the slack in a big way with 20 points on 8-14 shooting to lead the Miami Heat over the Charlotte Bobcats 86-75.
The Heat are now 3-0 for the preseason, only one of which has been played by Wade. A welcome sight was the return of Udonis Haslem on the floor, whose rebounding was definitely missing in the prior two games, with 11 boards in 16 minutes of action. Norris Cole impressed as well, with 15 points off the bench (8 of them in the fourth quarter) and 3-3 shooting beyond the arc, backing up Kansas Jayhawks point guard Mario Chalmers, who reportedly received the loudest cheers from the "home crowd" at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Yes, even more than the King.
Speaking of which, the MVP finally started playing a bit more to his lofty standards. With Bosh struggling in the first half on just two points, LeBron was looking for his shot much more - even managing to score one from the side and over the backboard in the third quarter.
In his second appearance, Michael Beasley again was instant offense off the bench as he rattled off several points right from the get go as soon as he was inserted into the lineup during the first quarter. He was perfect from the field until one sequence in the third quarter which he missed three shots near the rim, though his tenacity on the offensive glass is arguably a more important takeaway from that play.
In his second game with his new team, Al Jefferson was enjoying a solid game before landing awkwardly in the third quarter resulting in a deeply sprained right ankle. He was the only Bobcats players aside from reserve Jeffery Taylor to score in double-digits.
The Heat return to action back home on Tuesday to face the Washington Wizards. And yes, there will be television coverage from now on for every Heat game.
More from Hot Hot Hoops:
- Preview: Heat host Bobcats for a preseason home game in Kansas City
- Miami Heat Player Countdown: 13. Mario Chalmers
- Heat escape with 112-107 victory over Pistons, improve to 2-0 in the preseason
- Preview: Heat visit Pistons in second preseason game
- NBA odds released: Heat are 2-1 favorites to repeat as Champions