Dwyane Wade and James Harden put on a remarkable duel Wednesday night. - Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
LeBron James and Dwyane Wade combined for 63 points, but the other players -- most notably Udonis Haslem and Shane Battier -- helped the Heat overcome a Rockets rally and win without Chris Bosh.
Shortly before tipoff, the Miami Heat's official Twitter account announced that Chris Bosh would miss the team's Wednesday night showdown against the young, hot-shooting Houston Rockets. James Harden and company led multiple valiant efforts to battle back from a 17-point deficit, but everyone on Miami helped the Heat come away with a 114-108 win.
Houston had the ball down three with just under 29 seconds left. After Miami forced the ball out of Harden's hands -- the former Thunder player scored 16 points in the fourth quarter -- Udonis Haslem stepped in to take a charge against James Anderson. After LeBron James made one of two free throws, Dwyane Wade blocked a 3-point attempt from Harden to ice the game. James guarded Harden on that play until he got nailed on the screen. Wade, though, was wise enough to switch onto Harden. Haslem also rotated over to Harden, forcing the All-Star guard into a shot over two defenders. Miami's defense has been inconsistent all season long, but the Heat exemplified the philosophy of "five guys on a string" perfectly on that crucial play.
Wade and James combined to score 63 points on 20-of-36 shooting from the field, each eclipsing the 30-point mark. Wade added eight assists, five rebounds, four steals and two blocks while James finished with six rebounds, five assists and two blocks. But what was most impressive was that the other players all chipped in to compensate for Bosh's absence.
Haslem grabbed 13 boards and made three first-quarter jumpers and a decisive and-one layup in the fourth quarter, finishing one point shy of a double-double. Shane Battier made four 3-pointers, including one with two minutes left to double a three-point lead. Norris Cole scored 10 points, making several mid-range jumpers that he hasn't made recently. Rashard Lewis made a 3 and grabbed two big offensive boards. And Chris Andersen played 12 energy-filled minutes of basketball. The one blemish was that Ray Allen shot just 1-of-8 from the field, still unable to buy a bucket. But even with Allen shooting poorly, Miami's supporting cast came through to buttress the fantastic performances from Wade and James for a win.
The Heat will host the Los Angeles Clippers Friday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.