Tonight we saw an uncharacteristic quick start by Miami, which hopefully will be a more common thing. They rattled off 15-straight points against the cold shooting Jazz to take a 22-7 lead. Utah started the game hitting just 2-of-20 from the field and Miami took advantage, racking up the points. The tables turned a bit when Miami missed 9 shots in a row while the Jazz scored 6 straight.
The Heat maintained their lead throughout the 2nd quarter and played a good part of it with the Big 3 on the bench. When they did return, it was Dwyane Wade that did most of the damage. He scored 6 quick points to take his total up to 13 at the half, leading the way for the Heat who held a 51-32 halftime lead.
It's usually Miami who dominates the 3rd quarter but this game it would be Utah getting the jump on the Heat. A 13-3 run brought them right back into the game, now trailing by just 11. It was all Big 3 for Miami in the 3rd as they combined for all of the Heat's first 19 points.
The 4th quarter would start a big nightmarish for the Heat as Utah jumped out on a 17-4 run to close the gap completely, tying the game at 79. Deron Williams would put the Jazz up by 2 with just under 6½ minutes left in the game. The lead wouldn't last though because Dwyane Wade would nail a triple to put the Heat back in the lead.
On Miami's next possession the Heat would be victim of another flagrant foul. This time James Jones was on the receiving end, getting knocked hard to the court by Ronnie Price. I wonder if this is going to be a recurring theme. Are teams looking to take shots at the Heat?
When the game got down to the final minute it appeared like the Heat had this one in hand. They were up by 8 with just 37 seconds left, but that's when the Jazz caught fire from downtown. Over the last 28 seconds Utah hit 4 three-pointers. With every triple the Jazz inched closer, and it helped that the Heat missed 3 of the 9 free throws they'd take in the final 30 seconds.
Miami still held a 2-point lead with under 4 seconds left, but the man of the game Paul Millsap tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to send the game to OT. That bucket would represent the 41st and 42nd points that Utah put on the Heat in the 4th quarter alone. That can be a little misleading though as 14 of those points came in the final 28 seconds of the quarter.
Overtime felt like a blur. Dwyane Wade did all the scoring for Miami, who were actually up by 4 lead at one point. Utah took the lead into the final minute though, and despite a clutch 3-pointer by D-Wade to tie the game with 17 seconds left, the Jazz would hit their free throws when they needed and Miami was done.
Yeah, this one stings, but I'm not making it out to be anything bigger then what it is. It was the 8th game of the season for a team that is still very new, which was pretty apparent when trying to execute in crunch time. Some would say that's on the coach, but it isn't. On a team like this you draw up plays with more then one option and let the players do what they do. So yeah, this one hurt a little, but get over it. There are plenty of good times ahead but we'll have to get through this kind of stuff before we can get there.
- LeBron came away with his first (of many, I'm sure) triple-doubles as a member of the Heat. 20 points 11 rebounds and 14 assists. He also had 3 blocked shots and a steal.
- Joel Anthony put up a season-high 3 field goal attempts, making two. 4 points and 5 boards in 17 minutes is definitely a step in the right direction for Joel.
- You could tell that Chris Bosh was hawking rebounds early in this game, grabbing 6 in the first half. He finished with 9 to go with 17 points.
- Props to Paul Millsap, who had the best game ever for a Jazz player against the Heat. 46 points, including a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown (all during crunch time).
- 39 points for D-Wade, who scored all 10 of Miami's overtime points.
- What was up with Big Z getting called for 3 moving screens? I'm not sure how good of calls they were, or if Zydrunas is just a massive target out there.
- On the flip side, Udonis drew another 2 charges and Chris Bosh even drew one. A very good sign for the Heat's interior defense.
- 9 different players scored for the Heat, and they all scored within the first 39 points of the game for Miami.
Thankfully we don't have to let this one marinate very long. The sting will go away quickly with a win on Thursday against the Boston Celtics who make their first trip to Miami this season. I've been looking forward to this one since opening night...