While the Spurs made a run in the second quarter, tying the game at 44 after a Boris Diaw 3 with 4:20 to play, the Heat went on a 14-6 run to end the half and never looked back from there. Chris Bosh was Miami's primary offensive weapon in this one, scoring 24 points on 9-10 shooting, including 12 in the third quarter, which is where the Heat ultimately put the Spurs away, leading 91-71 when the quarter finally ended. With the game firmly in hand, both Bosh and LeBron sat the entire 4th quarter.
Had he not sat for the game's final 12 minutes, LeBron James appeared well on his way to another triple double, scoring 18 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists on 8-15 shooting. The final member of the Big 3, Dwyane Wade, actually played the role of 6th man today as he continues to rehab his knee. Wade played 24 minutes off the bench, shooting just 3-8 from the field and scoring only 8 points. The good news, however, is that Wade looked healthy moving around, even if his shot wasn't falling. He was still able to make his usual moves on both the offensive and defensive end, which is what Heat fans should really care about at this point in the season.
Speaking of guy's with bad knees, GREG ODEN! Today's game against the Spurs marked the third straight that Oden has played in, and he set a new season high with 13 minutes. Oden continues to look healthy, even going so far as to dunk on Tim Duncan in this game.
While Oden finished with just 3 points and 2 rebounds, that isn't really the point. Oden's impact extends far beyond when he touches the ball. On the defensive end, he's been doing a great job of altering shots or getting guys to pass out of their shots altogether. While Chris Bosh is tall, teams don't seem afraid of him like they do Oden in the lane. In addition to his presence on defense, he's been able to help open up the floor on offense. Teams have been faced with 2 options: 1) Put their center on Chris Bosh and have him float away from the basket, leaving a smaller defender on Oden who he can bully in the post, or 2) Put a smaller defender on Bosh, who he can just shoot over or drive past.
For the Spurs, they got yet another great game out of Tim Duncan, who scored 23 points on 9-13 shooting. On defense, however, Duncan simply can't stay with Bosh, who blew by him following pump fakes on multiple occassions.
Perhaps the most important thing to take away from today's game is that the Heat still have it on defense when they want to. While the Spurs were executing great early, the Heat did an excellent job of closing out on Spurs shooters, holding them to just 6-22 from deep, which is really how the Spurs make their living. They did shoot 50% from the field, but keeping them off the three point line was priority #1 for the Heat, and they succeeded.
The Heat will look to extend their winning streak to four when the Oklahoma City Thunder come to town on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 7:00, and the game can be viewed on ESPN.