The HEAT were coming off a tough overtime loss last night to the bottom feeding Sacramento Kings, minus four-time NBA MVP LeBron James and 70% shooter Chris "The Birdman" Andersen. On top of that, their opponent is the NBA's best Portland Trail Blazers. Lucky for us, Miami does not play for second best.
Miami made their first six shots, scoring 13 points in the first three minutes to sprint out to a 13-6 lead before missing one. They stayed hot, nailing nine-of-11 with 6:35 left in the first quarter before the clock finally stopped. The Blazers, however, are not a team known for standing still, and reeled off five straight to bring the score to 19-17 halfway through. Chris Bosh was responsible for more than half of Miami's score, accounting for 10 on five-of-five shooting. Meanwhile, the Blazers were also shooting above 80 percent, hitting 10 of their first 12 shots and running off seven straight to knot the game at 24 with three minutes left in the opening frame. The Blazers went on a nine point run to close out the period with a 34-30 lead.
First Quarter Observations
- Was that Ray Allen running the point?
- It's easy to see that we may be looking at a preview of the NBA Finals, as the two clubs combined to go 25-for-40 through 12 minutes, a 62.5% success rate, including eight-of-12 three-pointers (.667).
- Aside from Bosh's 10, Michael Beasley scored eight on three-of-seven shooting.
- LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers, also with 10 points on five-of-six shooting.
- Mario Chalmers had six assists in 10 minutes of work.
Second Quarter Observations
- The officials should be ashamed of themselves for calling that foul on Bosh near the end of the half. The broadcast stated that if they call that one, there should be 800 fouls called every game.
- Aside from the bad call, Bosh hit the locker room with 18 points on eight-of-11 shooting and five boards.
- Wesley Matthews led the Blazers with 18 of his own on seven-for-11 shooting, including a four-for-seven performance from beyond the arc.
- Maybe the bad call on Bosh will get him angry enough to steal this game for the HEAT.
- This Portland team is really, really good, but Miami is hanging tough - and outshooting the Blazers from long distance (.667 - .474), overall (.571 - .545), and from the stripe (.857 - .714).
Third Quarter Observations
- Why couldn't LeBron have missed a game against the Bobcats, or the Wizards?
- If Wade has to have an off-night (he's five-for-13 with four turnovers through three), why not last night against the Kings, instead?
- Udonis Haslem has seen better days. He still has more fouls than points + rebounds this season, and I don't see the trend ending anytime soon.
- Rashard Lewis is four-for-five through three, with 10 points. It's only his fourth game in double digits in this season, his 16th.
Fourth Quarter Observations
- Moda Center - Really?
- If this is what we can look forward to provided these two make the finals, then consider me a happy HEAT fan. Seven games of this, in a row?
- Chris Bosh - in the absence of King James - shows he can still lead a team if he needs to, with 37 points on 15-of-26 shooting with 10 rebounds.
- Rio had nine points, nine rebounds, and nine assists.
- Norris Cole went five-for-seven, scoring 11 with three assists.
- How gratifying to see the HEAT win this one short the best player in the world?