[caption id="attachment_4452" align="aligncenter" width="421" caption="The Professional, looking down"][/caption]"Beating teams you’re supposed to beat. That’s just being a professional." I’m paraphrasing Pat Riley there, but his philosophy rang true Tuesday night as Miami dismantled the woeful Sacramento Kings 117-97 in dominating fashion. Miami set the pace from the start, aggressively pushed the break, got to the rim at will and locked down any futile attempt from the Kings to make it a contest. The Heat began the 1st quarter shooting 74% from the field, settling at 64% by the end of the first half and most of the third quarter only to finish at a superb 57% accuracy. Playing one of the worst teams can make good teams look great and great teams look perfect. For the night, the Heat looked as perfect as it gets maximizing their strengths on both sides of the floor for a commanding victory. Game Notes:
- In a stealthy move, Erik Spoelstra inserted Dampier into the starting lineup for the 1st time this season. Dampier would end up without a single field goal attempted, but provided plenty of help with 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 265 pounds of body mass thrown around the battlefield. Ilgauskas did not enter the game.
- As dared in PreHeat, rookie DeMarcus Cousins opted for the worse option in performance matching his amount of fouls and field goals made with 3 each. Suffocated by the Heat’s collapsing defense and relentless attack, DMC picked up 2 quick fouls in the first 6 minutes of play then picked up his 3rd in the middle of the 2nd quarter, limiting his time on the floor. He finished with 8 points going 3-of-14 from the field.
- Since we’re on a messianic run, we must point out James Jones went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc in his first game as the entitled 3-Point Champion. PreHeat predicted.
- Of note (in video): An early highlight sequence featured the burly Cousins going up strong but getting denied by Eddie House from behind, followed by the burlier Dampier stuff. Magloire also outmuscled the youngster for a rebound and inadvertently elbowed Cousins in the face. Father tag team time.
- Mike Miller sat out tonight’s game with remnants of a cold and ear infection, possibly from the blows to the head he took from Austin Daye, Kevin Garnett and Jeff Foster. Mike was held out as a safe precaution but will suit up on Thursday when Miami visits the Bulls in Chicago.
- 29 points: the biggest lead in the game for the Heat. 76 points: total scoring output from the three All-Stars.
- This was the 3rd time in the last 6 games the Heat have scored 60+ by the half.
- LeBron James messed around and dropped 31 points and 8 rebounds to complete his 250th game with 30+ points.
- Wade, the 9th best in the league at getting to the line, did not take a free throw in the entire game for the first time this season. This was also LeBron James’ 2nd fewest free throw attempts this season with 3.