The Lakers kept it interesting, but Bosh hit 15-of-22 shots for 31 points and a seven point Heat win.
Chris Bosh opened up by making the first shot of the game, but badly missed a three from the right corner on his next shot. He made a three a moment later. Mario Chalmers made a layup, then LBJ took a shot to the dome. He stood in the Lakers end on the next possession, shaking it off. Once he found the ball in his hands, he held it for a second with his head down, then hit a wide open Ray Allen standing under the rim for an easy two. At the first commercial break, the Heat were leading by six, 13-7.
Bosh stayed hot after the break, nailing a 20-footer from the top of the key. After missing a corner three, Allen sunk one from the same spot a moment later to make it 18-11. Chalmers went one-on-two for a difficult layup and we had our first Birdman sighting of the night. LBJ threw a perfect alley-oop to him to push the lead to nine before the Lakers made a three-pointer. Heat, 22-16.
Greg Oden checked in with 2:30 left in the period, and found his way to the charity stripe 14 seconds later. James made his first field goal of the night with a dipsy-do move and an underhand layup underneath two Lakers. Oden missed a dunk, Norris Cole badly missed a long one, then LBJ hit a fadeaway as the shot clock expired. The Heat led, 30-27 after one.
First Quarter Notes
- Bosh leads Miami with nine points on four-for-six shooting, along with three rebounds.
- LeBron only scored five, but also had six boards, three dimes, and a steal.
- Oden doesn't look great.
- Shane Battier has four assists!
Oden opened the quarter with his first dunk in three tries on the night. Beasley threw down a dunk on the pick-and-roll and Oden made a left-handed jump-hook. Rio made a three and the Heat were leading by 10, their largest advantage thus far.
Cole made a pair of freebies after the break, then started and finished a steal-give-and-go to grow the lead to 13. The Birdman destroyed a Pau Gasol
layup, but Marshall had an easy layin to cut the lead to nine. The Lakers were poised to make a run, but a James layup, a steal by Andersen, another Cole layup, and a Bosh hook shot later, the Heat were again leading by 13.
Bosh made a great block, then a steal, followed by an LBJ drive to make it 53-40 with two minutes remaining. Bosh missed a long hook shot, but the Birdman put home the rebound. Battier missed a three-point attempt with 10.1 seconds left in the half, but was fouled. He missed all three free throws and the half closed at 57-46, Heat.
Second Quarter Observations
- Chalmers hasn't missed a shot yet, with nine points and three rebounds.
- James has 11 points and eight boards.
- Bosh is leading the way with 13 points and three rebounds.
- Pau Gasol leads the Lakers with a dozen points on five-of-seven shooting.
- Ray Allen missed a free throw, and the Heat is just four-for-11 overall from the stripe.
Miami started out the third quarter by forcing a 24-second violation, followed by another Bosh jump hook. After a Lakers miss, LBJ went coast-to-coast before passing to a wide-open Battier, who sunk a very-much needed three-pointer for a 16-point Heat lead. James had his 10th rebound of the night just two minutes into the second half for another double-double (he also had 13 points). He then sunk an uncontested three, followed by one for the Lakers' Johnson. Bosh made the next two shots for the Heat, but the Lakers were playing a little tighter, sticking at 11 points down. Some excellent ball movement precipitated a nice Chalmers runner for a 73-60 Heat lead.
James destroyed the rim with his next dunk - followed by a Heat steal and a very heads up ball save by a nearly out-of-bounds Battier off Nick Johnson's leg. Another short Bosh jumper preceded a Gasol finger roll before LBJ got mugged driving to the hoop. James missed both free throws. The Lakers clawed back within 10 when the Birdman fouled Gasol, who made both foul shots. James took another trip to the line the next time down, making both foul shots to become only the second Heat player shooting better than 50% from the line (Norris Cole is two-for-two).
Beasley made a pretty, arcing shot to maintain Miami's 10 point hold after a Young dunk. A three by Cole made it 13. There was an exchange between Oden and two Lakers at this point where he showed a lot of game-sense, managing to keep possession despite nearly having it twice stolen. It led to Beasley heading to the line, he made one-of-two. Miami ended the quarter up by 10, 85-75.
Third Quarter Observations
- Oden has looked better since the first quarter.
- Bosh still leads Miami, with 21 points.
- James has 20 points with 13 boards and five assists.
- Chalmers has 11 on five-of-five shooting.
- Jodie Meeks leads the Lakers with 16.
- Miami is nine-of-19 from the line.
lost the handle on the ball early in the fourth for a rare turnover, but Meeks missed a three pointer. Several missed shots later, Gasol opened the scoring with a jump hook and a foul shot (converted), cutting Miami's lead to seven. A Young layup made it 85-80, and the Lakers went to the commercial break with an intact 9-1 scoring run.
Bosh did his part after the break, with a Cole assisted jumper. Cole did it himself the next time down, surprising everyone with his quickness and a two foot jump hook. Beasley made another shot, but Gasol kept the Heat honest with a jumper of his own. Another Cole assisted Bosh jumper made it a nine point lead. Young drew a foul from Lewis on a driving layup. It looks like we have a game here with seven minutes remaining. Bosh scored his 26th and 27th points of the night as the shot clock expired, with a high-arcing 12 footer from the right wing.
James made one-of-two from the line after the break, and Jodie Meeks answered with a three-pointer. A Bosh turnover later, Gasol cut it back to five with a turnaround eight-foot jumper. Bosh drained a two-pointer, and Young made a three. Ray Allen answered with one of his own to keep the advantage at seven, 101-94. Jordan Hill
and his ridiculous hair made a shot, followed by a two for James. Meeks made another three - forcing the Heat to take a timeout with a four point lead and 2:41 remaining.
James held onto the ball until the shot clock nearly ran out before nailing an off-balance three. Kevin Marshall made a shot but missed a free throw on the other end. James tried the same thing again, but wasn't quite so lucky this time. After the ball was knocked out of bounds, the officials went to the replay, eventually setting on the Lakers. six seconds and one bad shot later, they did the exact same thing, wasting five minutes in the process. Bosh made a long jumper for a seven point lead. After a Lakers miss, they twice fouled the Heat, trying to get the ball back. James missed one and made one. The Lakers had 22.8 seconds to make up eight points. Lockdown defense by the Heat forced LA to burn their last timeout without inbounding the ball. Young scored one more point before the scoresheet was closed, as Miami took a 109-102 decision.
Fourth Quarter Observations
- A typical night for James, 27 points, 13 boards, and six assists.
- Bosh was the man, with 31 points in 33 minutes on 15-of-22 shooting, along with six rebounds.
- The point guard combo of Cole and Chalmers finished with 22 points and eight rebounds.
- Gasol and Meeks each had 22 points to lead the Lakers.
I consider myself lucky to draw the recap on this one, a real entertaining matchup which didn't see the Heat get cold for any length of time. The only downer - a 47.8% shooting percentage from the free throw line!
They shot a LBJ-like 57.7% from the field. Next up, Miami will host the Spurs
on Sunday and the Thunder
on Wednesday in two stiff tests between possible Finals opponents.