The Miami Heat went on a tear midway through the fourth quarter to break open a frustratingly close game against the Philadelphia 76ers, win 114-96 and improve to 2-0 on the season. Last year, Miami lost its road opener against the Sixers.
Chalmers made an and-one off an assist from Dwyane Wade to give the Heat a 12-point lead with 6:23 left in the game. About a minute later, Justin Hamilton tipped in a Wade miss that went in-and-out (more than him later). And with three-and-a-half minutes later, Chalmers made a 3 on the break after a Sixers turnover. Suddenly, Miami had a 16-point lead.
The 2008 second-round pick from Kansas finished with a strong game. He shot 6-of-9 from the field -- including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc -- for 18 points. Chalmers also picked up four steals, contributing to a heightened Heat defense that was lackadaisical for the first three quarters. His active hands led to Sixers turnovers, which Miami exploited to their advantage. On the flip side, Chalmers missed four free throws, which would have been more important had the game stayed close. Still, the backup shooting guard made it to the foul line 10 times.
Like the season opener against the Washington Wizards, Chris Bosh led the way for Miami offensively. The two-time NBA champion scored 30 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field and 10-of-11 shooting from the foul line. He also grabbed eight rebounds, a team high. Bosh also made two 3s in the first half, a huge part of the Heat's offense, especially in the first half. The Heat shot 12-of-24 from beyond the arc for the night, a huge advantage for the team.
In last year's Oct. 30 game against the Sixers, Wade missed the first of many games in the Heat's maintenance program to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Tonight, he played but looked like someone who had played three games in the last four nights. Wade missed three layups in the first quarter and then air-balled a jumper. It wouldn't get much better for the Heat Lifer, at least in terms of his own shooting.
He finished with just nine points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field, and found difficulty in finishing over traffic in the lane. Wade made those floaters and lay-ups with ease in the past, but didn't have the explosiveness to finish those plays tonight. Wade also turned the ball over six times, another series of mishaps that would've mattered more had the game stayed close throughout the fourth quarter. But on the plus side, Wade did dish out 10 assists.
Josh McRoberts got his first minutes of the season, playing 11 minutes off the bench. His shot looked very flat, as he was unable to get any arc on his wide-open jumpers. But McRoberts made a nice drive to the basket for his first points in a Heat uniform. Shabazz Napier also made his first 3-pointer in his young NBA career and made a sweet pass to Chalmers for a second-quarter layup.