After the Heat's win over Golden State on Wednesday, Coach Erik Spoelstra asked his team ‘now what?' The answer was better then any of us would've expected as the Heat came out on fire and never cooled off. Houston boasted the 4th highest scoring bench in the NBA but the Heat's reserves absolutely dominated with Wade on the bench. It figures that the game where seemingly every Heat player couldn't miss, Udonis Haslem had trouble hitting his jumpers. Still, it didn't matter as the Heat matched their season high with 115 points for the 2nd straight game, winning both handily.
The Heat came out and shot 50% in the first 5 minutes of the game, which normally would be enough to take an early lead. However, Houston shot 78% and jumped out to a 17-8 advantage. Both teams were very effective on the offensive end in the 1st quarter. Dwyane Wade picked right up where he left off on Wednesday night, scoring 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting and attacking all over the place. The Heat shot 52% and Houston shot 63%, with the Rockets up 29-27 after 1.
Houston kept firing in the 2nd quarter, scoring 8 points in the span of a minute to pump their lead back up to 6. Miami then countered with a 6-0 run capped off by a Beasley trey to tie the game, but the Heat would keep pushing. They did a great job with D-Wade on the bench, outscoring the Rockets 14-12. Many of the 2nd unit players (Chalmers, Wright, Udonis) came in with the Heat trailing and they provided a major spark and got Miami back into the game.
Wade came back in with the game tied at 41. 2 minutes later the Heat had a 10-point lead. Dwyane was all over the place, driving the ball, hitting jumpers; it was really awesome to see. Heading into the final minute of the half the Heat were on a 22-7 run since Wade returned, but the Rockets scored 5 unanswered in the last :29, shrinking the Heat lead to 9.
Miami came out in the 2nd half just as hot as they were in the 2nd quarter, outscoring the Rockets 12-4 over the first 4 minutes to take a 17-point lead. The Heat were dominating the 3rd quarter without help from Dwyane Wade, who didn't take a shot until there were 4½ minutes left. But just like that he rattled off 5 straight points, showing us that he can score any time and any way he wants.
For the 2nd straight game the Heat scored at least 90 points through 3 quarters, and last night it was a 91-77 lead heading into the 4th quarter. It wasn't going to be easy for Miami, as rookie Chase Budinger opened the quarter with 5 quick points and suddenly the Heat lead was down from 14 to 9. That prompted Erik Spoelstra to bring in Dwyane Wade just 1:45 into the quarter, obviously much sooner then he wanted but this was not a game that he was going to let get away.
The Heat came right back with 5 straight points of their own and then it was just a matter of keeping the Rockets from outscoring them. Miami actually had the lead pumped up to 18 at one point, but as is the norm in the NBA, the Rockets made a late run drawing within 10 points with under 3 minutes left, but the Heat would get the lead back up to 14. A final push by Houston in the final 2 minutes would make the score a little closer, but the Heat played as good of a road game as any of us could've hoped.
- The Heat moved to 8-0 when shooting over 50%. They finished the game shooting 53.6% but at the half they had hit on 60% of their shots.
- Quentin Richardson is starting to find his stroke again. In the last 2 games he has shot 8-for-15 and 6-of-13 from beyond after making just 3-of-23 and 2-of-13 in the 4 previous games.
- Rafer Alston has his best game since joining the Heat, hitting 7-of-11 including a pair of treys. He added 4 rebounds and 2 assists, but he deserves a lot of credit for the defense he played on Aaron Brooks.
- All five Heat starters scored double digit points.
- Udonis Haslem drew his team-leading 14th charge of the season.
- Heat centers (Jermaine and Joel) finished with 7 blocks. Jermaine had 4 which ties his season-high.
- Over his last 3 games Dwyane Wade has hit 23 consecutive free throws. He also has 3 steals in 5 of his last 6 games. Oh, and he also scored 35 points on Wednesday and scored another 37 last night. But we can't forget assists; 9 on Wednesday and 8 last night. So is he ‘back' yet? We'll see what happens in Oklahoma.
That's right, the Heat get right back at it tonight in Oklahoma City. It's the last game of this 6-game road trip that has been like a dramatic roller coaster, but the Heat have the opportunity to come home with a 4-2 record if they can just eek out a win over the Thunder.