The game started out pretty slowly, especially for the Heat who hit just 2 of their first 10 shots. Undersized center Chuck Hayes was surprisingly dominant on the glass, grabbing 9 boards in the opening quarter (4 offensive) and adding 4 points. He also impressed defensively, drawing a pair of charges on Michael Beasley in the early part of the game.
The Heat finally started scoring and at the same time Houston went ice cold. Miami closed the quarter on a 13-2 run thanks in part to the Rockets missing 11 straight field goals. Miami stayed hot as the game progressed, hitting 7 of their first 8 shots in the 2nd quarter. They turned that little 13-2 run into a 30-6 stretch that gave Miami a 21-point lead.
It would only get worse for the Rockets, who responded to their 15 point 1st quarter with a 16-point 2nd quarter and went into the half down by 25. Houston's hottest scorer Aaron Brooks scored just 7 points in the half and missed 8 of his 10 shots. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Udonis Haslem was sizzling. He scored 14 points, 10 coming in the 2nd quarter, and hit 7 of his 8 shots.
It took Michael Beasley all of 2 minutes in the 3rd quarter to match his scoring output from the entire first half, first scoring on a nice drive as the shock clock expired and then hitting a long jumper. Unfortunately for Super Cool, he'd pick up his 4th foul just a minute later and just like that Beasley was back on the bench.
After scoring 15 and 16 points in the first two quarters, Houston came out and scored 14 points in the first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter. The Rockets 14-6 run to start the half was a wake-up call for the Heat, who responded with 7 straight points. That included D-Wade's first dunk of the game; he jumped so high to slam it down that I think the ball may have scraped the ceiling.
Miami took the same 25-point lead they held at halftime into the 4th quarter. That was awesome for several reasons; obviously its great taking that big of a lead into the final quarter, but considering the Heat have another game less then 24-hours after this one, resting their big guns is a major luxury that the Heat were fortunate to afford. Starting the 4th quarter for Miami was Anthony, Cook, Wright, Arroyo and Beasley, who lasted just 4 minutes before picking up his 5th foul and sitting right back down.
Not really much negative to take from this game. Miami dominated from start to finish and looked nothing like the team that had just lost 5 straight. All things considered, this game was EXACTLY what doctor ordered. Yes, it was good and great and awesome to see the Heat get a W...but the time to enjoy it is pretty much over already. Now we get to enjoy a road game up in Atlanta against the damn Hawks.
- The Heat got a season-high 48 points off their bench.
- Joel Anthony didn't score but still had quite an impact, blocking 5 shots.
- Udonis Haslem started the game 7-of-8 and finished the game 7-of-13. He still came away with a double double (14-14), and his 14 defensive rebounds were a career high.
- Dorell Wright continues to be a solid bench contributor. He finished with 9 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 6 rebounds and a career high 7 assists.
- Speaking of assists, Miami recorded an assist on 18 of their first 22 baskets. Their 19 in the first half matched their season average for an entire game. The Heat also held Houston to just 2 assists in the first half, tying a franchise record for fewest assists in a half.
- Daequan Cook had a great 2nd quarter with 8 points and a pair of treys. He struggled in the 4th quarter though, making just 1-of-5 and missing all three of his 3-point attempts.
Well, hopefully the Heat will be rested enough to bring that same effort later tonight in Atlanta. Playing the Hawks is never an easy thing, especially up in their house. One thing that the Heat have going their way is that Atlanta also played last night, beating the Grizzlies by 14 on the road.