Chris Bosh finally got the break that he deserved after leading Miami in battle the last three games. As Dwyane Wade sat again as well, LeBron James returned to action for the first time in over a week to led the Heat to a 106-87 victory. Joel Anthony started in place of Chris Bosh.
The win increased the Heat's dominance over the Philadelphia 76ers and also improved the Heat to 60-16, 1 win shy of tying the franchise's best for a season, 61 (1996-97). James paced the Heat in the first quarter with 11 points while playing limited minutes. The Heat continued their hot steak from beyond the ark without much help from Mike Miller who had been hot recently. Miller had only 3 points, but the Heat shot 14-25 from downtown. Miami is now 27-0 this season when hitting 10+ from beyond the arc.
LeBron finished the game with 27 points, 5 assists and 4 rebounds in only 29 minutes of action. Ray Allen also returned from his one game absence and scored 11 points. Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, Udonis Haslem, and Mario Chalmers all also scored in double figures for the Heat. The Sixers had a balanced attack of five players in double figures, led by 18 from Jrue Holiday.
The Sixers fell behind by 15 at the end of the first quarter but were able to keep the game close once recovering and all the up to closing time of the fourth. Then, James took over, scoring and setting up teammates. The Heat outscored Philadelphia 29-11 in the final period.
The Heat closed the game strong and improved to 60-16. They are now 13-1 on the back end of back-to-backs this season. Next up for the Heat is Tuesday at home against their likely first-round opponent, the Milwaukee Bucks.
- Unlikely because they are at the bottom of the league, but Miami won the rebound battle by 7 tonight. Chris Andersen had a season high 15 rebounds.
- The Heat are getting closer to clinching the best record in the NBA, with a magic number of 2 (wins or losses from SA/OKC).
- The Heat did not shoot a free throw in the first half, yet led by 4 at the break.
- The Sixers have not won in Miami since 2008.