Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James finally played a game together since January 12th against the Los Angeles Clippers. The loss there started a string of 5 losses in the next 6 games over the course of the next 17 days as the team struggled through injuries to the star trio as well as Mike Miller and Eddie House.
Considering how quickly Bosh came back from this particular injury and had such an effective game with 20 points and 7 rebounds (3 of them on the offensive glass) in a tough environment on the road, it was interesting that Kevin Durant decided to call him out on his toughness after the loss. According to ESPN.com, here is what Durant said after the game in which both players received technical fouls for jawing at each other briefly:
Bosh explained what the two where talking about:
I was talking to my teammate and he decided he wanted to put his 2 cents into it. I'm a quiet guy, a laid-back guy, but I'm not going to let nobody talk trash to me. He's on a good team now, so he thinks he can talk a little bit.
There's a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he's one of them.I'm no punk. I wasn't even talking to him, first off. He decided to butt in and I'm not going to just let that slide, especially in our house. Like I said, he's not one of those guys that I look at and say, `Oh, he has a rap for talking back to guys or always getting into it.' No, he's a nice guy. He's not one of those guys, so I'm not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.
I think he was telling Harden to dunk on me, or dunk the next one. I expressed that, `No, he's not going to dunk that.' And he expressed, `Yes, he is.' It just kind of went back and forth.Anyways...the balanced attack from the Big 3 was a welcome sight after the Heat offense looked positively lost with the absence of Bosh and featured too many iso sets from LeBron and Wade. Yet again, the trio combined for 75 points in the victory, at least the third time that point total was reached for a Heat win. One positive development from the losing streak has been the rising production from Miller and Eddie House which was crucial to pull away from the Thunder. Miller's quick pair of three-pointers in his first minutes on the court were ultimately a tease, it was the only points he scored in the game, but his playmaking coupled with some timely rebounds and hustle showed what he can do when given steady minutes. House has also made the most of his minutes as he's been consistently hitting his shots since given a chance to play after gathering dust at the end of the bench during the Heat's winning streak during December and the first half of January. Both players combined to secure the win when Miller pulled down an offensive rebound and House made the game-winning three pointer to make the score 105-103 with 22 seconds to go. Wade had a team-leading 32 points (disappointingly without his new shades) but he could have been to blame if the Thunder had won. With a chance to put Miami up by 10 points with just a few minutes left, Wade barreled down the basket and was seemingly fouled. Instead of running back on defense, Wade chose to complain to the refs and was rewarded for his efforts with a technical foul. Suddenly, the momentum was killed and Miami's lead evaporated to just two points on a Durant triple just a minute later. Wade also had 9 turnovers and missed a second free throw that would have boosted the lead to 4 points in the closing moments of the game but was bailed out with the Heat retaining possession when Joel Anthony forced Nick Collison to fumble the ball away. The emergence of House has led to a "DNP-Coach's Decision" for Carlos Arroyo, his first of the season. Yes, LeBron passed up the shot to a wide-open House for the three pointer. Jordan did the same thing to Steve Kerr for a memorable game winner. Robert Horry has hit his fair share of game winners while playing alongside All-Stars. Every elite team needs role players to step up to be successful. Any criticism towards LeBron for that play makes absolutely no sense, especially when House hit the shot. This isn't Jamal Mashburn passing up an open jumper to Clarence Weatherspoon. Given the much publicized fact that the Heat have struggled in games decided by 5 points or less (2-8 before today's game) and given the circumstances, this might have to be the Heat's most impressive victory of the season along with the Christmas Day massacre of the champion Lakers). Which game would you pick?