For the second time during the preseason the Heat played a game on the 2nd night of a back-to-back and both times they've ended up with very similar results. Erik Spoelstra rested several regulars and unfortunately the reserve guys couldn't cut it against the Hornets. Other then an awesome 3rd quarter, the Heat were outplayed in almost every way and ended up losing in New Orleans 90-76.
Before the game even started you knew it was going to be an uphill battle for the Heat just judging by their starting backcourt of Patrick Beverly and Kenny Hasbrouck. Beverly grabbed an offensive board on Miami's 1st possession following a Chris Bosh miss, then hits trey on the Heat's next trip down the floor. That would be the only shot he hit on the night, though he did get to the foul line a few times.
The Heat turned the ball over 6 times, took just 11 shots, and scored 12 points through the first 10 minutes of the game. Unfortunately, that would be a trend that continued during most of the game. After shooting 44% in the opening quarter, Miami's field goal percentage gets worse and worse, dropping down to 36% half way through the 2nd quarter.
Adding insult to injury (or the other way around I guess) Patrick Beverly took a Chris Paul elbow to the head, just over left eye, and came immediately out of the game. He took 4 stitches and was initially ruled out of the game, but the shorthanded Heat had him come back in the 2nd half due to their short bench; Kenny Hasbrouck was only guard left after Beverly got hurt.
The Heat took their first free throw of the game 1:11 into 3rd quarter when Chris Bosh completed a nice 3-point play. It was the beginning of a monster quarter for Bosh, as he singlehandedly brought the Heat back into the game. For the time being, it was just the spark that Miami needed.
Suddenly the Heat began to look like they were hustling on D and executing on offense, and we had a game again. A James Jones triple halfway through the quarter brought the Heat to within 5. Chris Bosh was taking over at that point. He played 11 minutes in the 3rd quarter, scoring 20 points on 7-of-8 shooting and a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line.
They briefly took the lead on a Mike Miller triple in the final minute, then a pair of Pat Beverly free throws gave them a 65-64 lead to take into the 4th quarter. A James Jones triple put the Heat up 70-65 with about 10 minutes left in the game, but that's when the Heat began falling apart.
Miami would score just two points over the next 8:54, a 21-2 New Orleans run that would send the Hornets fans heading for the exits with smiles on their faces. Juwan Howard hit a pair of jumpers in the final 70 seconds, but that wouldn't spare the Heat from an embarrassing 4th quarter and a 90-76 loss.
Other then Chris Bosh's amazing 3rd quarter, the Heat had some major problems scoring. They put up 16, 13 and 11 points in the 1st, 2nd and 4th quarters. That's 40 points in three quarters.
- Kenny Hasbrouck had a night to forget. He hit his only field goal of the game in the midst of the Heat's horrid 4th quarter, finishing 1-for-11 with 2 boards and 7 assists. He also turned the ball over 5 times.
- Patrick Beverly played a decent game but didn't do anything to stand out. 9 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 turnovers.
- As a team, the Heat finished with 18 turnovers. There is no excuse for not taking care of the ball, regardless of who is in the game.
- Mike Miller shot the ball a little better, connecting hitting 2-of-3 from downtown and 4-of-8 overall. He also grabbed 6 rebounds.
- Another quiet game for Udonis, other then the 2nd quarter; he collected 10 rebounds in 8 minutes.
- James Jones hit 5 triples. Could he be finding his stroke? I cant stress enough how great it would be for him to be a consistent threat from the outside this season.
Joel Anthony played just 18 minutes but still blocked 3 shots. He also scored his first points of the preseason.
- Big Z fouled out after playing just 17 minutes. It's becoming pretty obvious that the Heat are working on a lot of different defensive looks with their centers during the preseason.
The Heat gets the weekend to work on things before returning to the court on Monday night at the AAA. They'll welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to town in what will be the last preseason game played in South Florida. After that, they play the Hawks in Atlanta and the Magic in St. Petersburg to wrap up their preseason schedule.