Heat 98, Bobcats 85: Five Stars

Grant Halverson

The heroes of last night's game may seem obvious at first blush, but what about the numbers behind the numbers?

I used the GameScore metric available at www.basketball-reference.com to break down last night's top performers.

Fifth Star: Kemba Walker

Walker played 27:15, going four-for-seven from the field and finishing with a game worst minus-26 plus/minus rating. He went one-of-two from three point range and four-of-five from the free throw line. He scored 13 points, finishing with a team second best five assists along with two rebounds and two steals. His 12.2 game score ranked him second on the Bobcats.

Fourth Star: Dwyane Wade

Wade played 33:44 on the night, second only to LBJ on the Heat. He scored 17 points on seven-for-16 shooting, adding three points on four free throw attempts. He also had six assists, three rebounds, a steal and a block, and finished the night with a plus-12 rating. His 12.2 game score was tied with fifth star Kemba Walker, but I awarded him the tie breaker based on the results of the game.

Third Star: Chris Andersen

As in seemingly every Heat game, the Birdman provided a shot in the arm to the Heat off the bench. He shot four-for-seven and made all four of his free throw attempts for 12 points. He had seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block in 22:02 of game time, finishing with a minus-1 rating. He finished with a 12.8 game score.

Second Star: Al Jefferson

Jefferson played all 12 minutes in the first quarter for the Bobcats, scoring a game high 15 points. Unfortunately for him (and fortunately for Miami), he was unable to keep up the pace afterward. His plantar fascia  would limit him to five points in 18 minutes the rest of the game. He was eight-of-13 from the field and four-of-five from the line, good for 20 points along with five rebounds and three blocks. He posted a minus-20 rating and a game score of 16.9.

First Star: LeBron James

Nobody else was within shouting distance of LBJ's 27.8 game score. James was one second shy of three quarters of time on the floor, and scored 30 points on 10-of-18 shooting, including one-of-two from deep. He hit nine-of-10 free throws, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six helpers with two steals. He had a game high plus-20 rating on the night.

With any luck, the Heat will close things out tomorrow night against these Bobcats. Then we can watch and wait for whoever the second round holds in store.

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