After a beautiful Thanksgiving dinner at LeBron James' Cleveland residence and a turkey that put many Heat players to sleep, Miami crossed the border into the crisp cool air of Toronto, Ontario looking to extend their eight game winning streak to nine.
The Heat entered game mode following tip-off (after a warm-up dunk contest) and stole the lead right away. Despite effort from Tyler Hansbrough, DeMar DeRozan, and Rudy Gay, Toronto would never again take the lead, even with their strong effort in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Of course Miami was led by LeBron James (27 points) and a healthy Dwyane Wade (22 points). A look at Dwyane Wade this game would make one wonder, if they were watching a game from 2008. Wade appeared strong, to put it simply. He was able to score 10 consecutive points off steals, his court vision was on point, as well as the lift in his jump shot. (Wade's jump shot has been fantastic lately).Wade's relentless hustle plays and rebounds aided Miami in securing the win in the final minutes.
Miami's defense continues to thrive, throughout the contest they often forced Toronto to take terrible looks from beyond the arc, as well as causing a multitude of turnovers. Norris Cole found life in this game, playing fluidly on both offense and defense. Chalmers was lethargic however, perhaps due to a hip injury that recently kept him out of play. In any case, he made sloppy passes and appeared slow. Michael Beasley seems to have found a constant place in the rotation, and is delivering. He scored three consecutive baskets that at first glance all resembled corner threes, but were in fact two long twos and one three.
DeRozan was Miami's biggest challenge as he constantly attacked the rim with explosiveness and athleticism. He may very well be the most impressive scoring asset Toronto has on their roster. There was a point in the contest in which LeBron appeared injured, however a botched DeRozan play that resulted in a LeBron alley-oop put everything at ease. While Haslem saw little minutes his rivalry with Psycho-T was in full force as they often found themselves battling, and shedding blood. Shane Battier was in the rotation, although he had trouble finding rhythm from beyond the arc. He also committed his first turnover, however his impressive "fumanchu" moustache more than made up for the mistake.
The final minutes of the fourth quarter were sloppy for both clubs and filled with many strange calls from the officials. I'm not saying they spent time with Rob Ford prior to the match, but nonetheless it would explain a few calls specifically on Chris Bosh. Regardless, Miami was able to pull out their ninth straight win against Canada's only team and in doing so continue their quest for another impressive win streak.
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