Last night the Heat played without Dwyane Wade for the first time this season. It was the 3rd game in 4 nights for Miami, all on the road. And they won. In double overtime. Sure, the Heat had an 18-point lead in the 1st half and an 11-point lead with around 6 minutes left in the game...but the bottom line is that they got the ‘W'.
Several guys stepped up in the absence of D-Wade. Jermaine O'Neal had a very productive game, finishing with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks before fouling out in the first OT. It's pretty awesome how this guy keeps stepping up and providing the Heat with quality start after quality start.
Mike Beasley also had a big game, which is great considering that everybody kinda knows that he was going to be leaned on to provide offense with Wade out. Super Cool Beas scored a career-high 30 points and had several big buckets at the end of the 4th quarter and into the overtimes. He was also very active on the defensive end, finishing with 3 steals and a block.
Probably the biggest surprise came from Mario Chalmers. Rio played for the first time in 9 games and was more active then I can remember seeing him at all this season. He was 6-of-12 from the field, including 4 treys, grabbed 7 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Chalmers looked confident with the ball and had his usual active hands on D, but he still struggled running the offense and getting plays going in a timely manner. That led to Rio and Carlos Arroyo being on the court together a fair amount, with Arroyo running the point.
- This was the Heat's 5th straight win overall. It was also their 4th straight win on the road.
- Clutch free-throw shooting was key for Miami, as they hit all 7 of their foul shots in the two overtimes.
- Carlos Arroyo had a pair of very nice assists in the 2nd OT that led to Udonis Haslem buckets. One was a cross court pass to a wide open Udonis in the corner, the other was a sick drive-n-dish that led to a 2-handed slam that proved to be the dagger.
- Speaking of U-D, he scored 8 of his 10 points in the 2nd overtime, becoming the 5th Heat player to reach double digit points last night.
- Daequan Cook started and blocked 3 shots in the 1st quarter. He shot just 1-of-7, hitting on 1-of-3 from beyond.
The Heat now have the 2nd longest active win streak in the NBA. They will wrap up this 4-game road trip tonight in Dallas, then they will be back to playing a fair amount of their remaining games at home. 15 of the final 26 games will be played at the AAA, including 10 home games in the month of March.