I'd be lying if I said I wasn't expecting a better start from the Heat after the way they blew their last home game, but unfortunately that wasn't the case. The Heat went 1-for-7 from the field over the first 4½ minutes when D-Wade took his first shot of the game, an easy layup. That sparked the Heat, who made 5 of 6 shots en route to taking their first lead of the game at 13-12. They did a much better job getting the ball to the rim and Miami got out of the 1st quarter with a 3-point lead.
The 2nd quarter started out pretty boring. The Heat scored 2 quick points and then both teams went scoreless for about 4 minutes, a stretch in which both teams went 0-for-6 from the field. Unfortunately the Heat didn't get back on the scoreboard until there was 6 minutes left, but luckily they were holding a lead the entire time. By the time all was said and done in the opening half, I'm sure most in attendance we're ready to head home. The teams combined to make 10 shots in the 2nd quarter (10-for-26 for those of you wondering).
The low scoring excitement continued into the 3rd quarter, but at least the Heat were staying ahead. Back-to-back buckets by D-Wade gave Miami their largest lead of the game at 7 half way through the quarter. At this point it was looking like at least one team would crack 50-points by the end of the 3rd quarter with the Heat up 46-39.
Suddenly it was the Heat getting hot, going on a 14-3 run to go up by 12 late in the quarter. It helped that the Jazz we're shooting an ice cold 3-of-11 in the quarter. Miami however kept scoring and suddenly were up by 17. D-Wade put an exclamation point on the quarter with a great driving dunk in which he split a double team in vintage Wade fashion, and the Heat took a 14-point lead into the final period.
Utah spent most of the 4th quarter playing catch up...but couldn't get over the hump. Dwyane Wade stepped his game up in the 2nd half, doing most of the scoring while Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony did all the dirty work down low. Not enough can be said about the great game that Anthony had when the Heat lost Jermaine O'Neal just minutes into the game with a tweaked right groin.
Anthony finished with 8 points, 9 boards and 5 blocks in 35 minutes. Seriously, if this guy got significant minutes he would absolutely lead the league in blocked shots...but on the other hand, who knows how many reserve players you could say that about. Before I wrap this up, I've gotta throw Wade's stats out there. 29 points on 12-of-28 shooting (and 5-of-6 from the line), 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Not too shabby, eh? Well, I'll certainly take it.
- You guys just saw the lowest scoring 1st half in the NBA this season. The previous game was between Portland and Charlotte, which was 38-30 Blazers at the half.
- The 70 points put up by Utah was their lowest point total of the season.
- After not getting to the foul line at home all season, Quentin Richardson has gotten there two games in a row at the AAA. Richardson finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
- Udonis Haslem played just under 30 minutes and came away with a 12-11 double double. Welcome back, U-D (I hope).
- On the other hand, Michael Beasley was quite off last night. He finished just 2-of-10 with 5 points and 5 boards.
- Mario Chalmers was pretty bad in relief of Carlos Arroyo in the opening half, missing his first 4 shots. But then again, everybody was pretty bad in the first half. He finished 2-of-11 with just 2 assists in 29 minutes, 10 more then Arroyo who finished with 7 points and 2 assists.
- James Jones played 10 minutes. Does anybody remember seeing him in the game? He and Daequan are by far the biggest disappointments for the Heat this year.
- The 13 turnovers by the Heat are only overshadowed by the 20 that Utah had.
- Dorell Wright. 0-for-6. I think everybody gets a pass on this one as long as they kick the Knicks ass on Christmas.
And on that note, I will sign off and wish everybody a Merry Christmas. Yup...it's Christmas Eve, so let's put the negativity aside and just be ‘merry'. And to all my Jewish brethren, a belated Happy Hanukkah to you all. I hope everybody has a very happy holiday.