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Two Losses, 10 Stars

A double dose of our Five Star series focuses on the Heat's unfortunate back-to-back setbacks.

Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Game 4: Rockets 108, Heat 91

First Star

James Harden (HOU) - 25.4

"The Beard" was in charge on Tuesday night. His 25 points and 10 assists gave him one of two double-doubles on the night for Houston, and nearly earned a triple-double, falling just one rebound short with two offensive and seven defensive boards. He played a game high 40:23 and shot six-of-13 from the floor. He hit all 10 of his free throw attempts and went three-for-seven from outside. He added a steal, two blocks, and a plus-15 rating, along with two fouls and five turnovers.

Second Star

Trevor Ariza (HOU) - 18.6

Ariza hit five-of-eight shots from the field, all from outside the three-point line, and finished with 19 points in 40:13. He made four-of-four from the stripe, and earned a half-triple-double by adding five assists and five rebounds (one offensive). He also led Houston with three steals, a team-best-tying plus-27 rating, three fouls and four turnovers.

Third Star

Chris Bosh (MIA) - 16.3

In each of Miami's first three games, the number one player and three of the five stars played for Miami. On Tuesday, Bosh had the best game any of them could muster, sinking a respectable two-of-four three pointers and six-of-10 from inside the arc. He led Miami with a 21 point night, making three-of-five foul shots, collecting eight rebounds (two offensive), making one assist and stealing twice. He finished at minus-11, with three fouls and two turnovers in 30:01.

Fourth Star

Dwight Howard (HOU) - 15.4

Howard had Houston's other double-double, tying Ariza with a plus-27 rating in 38 minutes. He made 10-of-16 from the floor, mostly from extremely close range for a game-high 26 points. Out of a game-high 11 trips to the foul line, he made six, along with three offensive rebounds, seven defensive rebounds, and one steal. He turned the ball over five times and committed four fouls.

Fifth Star

Dwyane Wade (MIA) - 14.1

Wade led Miami in floor time, with 31:08 to his credit. He missed two three pointers and finished at a team-worst minus-19 with three turnovers and two fouls. Other than that, he made seven-of-nine two-point shots, dished out three assists, made one rebound on each side of the floor and blocked another shot. Wade and Bosh were respectable, if not spectacular, but the rest of the team didn't really back them up they way they need to if the Heat are to turn some heads this season.

The Rest

Shawne Williams (MIA) 12.0
Patrick Beverley (HOU) 10.7
Justin Hamilton (MIA) 10.6
Kostas Papanikolaou (HOU) 8.8
Isaiah Canaan (HOU) 7.7
Mario Chalmers (MIA) 4.0
Shabazz Napier (MIA) 3.9
Luol Deng (MIA) 2.6
Jason Terry (HOU) 2.2
Joey Dorsey (HOU) 1.5
Troy Daniels (HOU)  0.0
Norris Cole (MIA) -0.1
Andre Dawkins (MIA) -0.7
Josh McRoberts (MIA) -1.6
James Ennis (MIA) -1.9
Donatas Motiejunas (HOU) -2.8

Game 5: Hornets 96, Heat 89

First Star

Kemba Walker (CHA) - 21.3

Walker led the Hornets only in assists, with seven against only one turnover. Aside from that, he was extremely efficient aside from his four personal fouls. He played 34:14 and drained five-of-six from the floor, including both of his three-point attempts. He also made all six of his foul shots, stole twice, grabbed four rebounds, posted a plus-12 rating and finished with 18 points.

Second Star

Al Jefferson (CHA) - 20.9

What a difference a year makes. Last time we saw Al Jefferson was at courtside last April when the Heat swept the then-Bobcats in four straight to open the postseason. He had a bad stump that simply wouldn't support him at NBA speed. Last night, he led all players with 28 points, adding 10 rebounds for the only Hornets double-double of the night. In 31:37, he made 13-of-25 shots, both numbers were more than double any of his teammates. He made two of his five foul shot attempts, made five rebounds on each end of the floor, dished out one assist, blocked three Heat shot attempts, and committed a single turnover with a single foul.

Third Star

Dwyane Wade (MIA) - 20.0

Wade's night was good enough to rank as a First Star performance on most nights, with 25 points, seven assists, and four rebounds. He made nine-of-18 shots, missing both of his three-point attempts, also making seven-of-eight foul shots. He had a steal, a block, and posted a minus-1 rating with three turnovers and three fouls.

Fourth Star

Chris Bosh (MIA) - 17.2

Bosh earned Miami's only double-double on the night, finishing with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Although he made all eight of his free throws, he suffered an inefficient night from the floor, making only one of his six three-point attempts and six-of-12 otherwise. 11 of his rebounds were of the defensive variety, and he added one assist, one steal, rated a minus-5, committed two turnovers and was guilty of one personal foul. He and Wade were the only Miami players to finish the contest in double figures.

Fifth Star

Cody Zeller - 11.0

There really wasn't a fifth standout to the naked eye, but as this is a statistically based rating system, our fifth star is Hornets sixth-man (actually seventh-man) Cody Zeller. In just 18:23, he made four-of-six from the floor and five-of-six from the line. He did not attempt any three pointers. He had three offensive and eight total rebounds, along with one block, one assist and a plus-17 rating (second on the team). In his limited time, he also found a way to get called for five fouls and get pick-pocketed twice.

The Rest

Shawne Williams (MIA) - 9.4
Luol Deng (MIA) - 6.0
Gerald Henderson (CHA) - 5.6
Justin Hamilton (MIA) - 4.9
PJ Hairston (CHA) - 4.8
Shabazz Napier (MIA) - 4.2
Lance Stephenson (CHA) - 4.0
Brian Roberts (CHA) - 3.6
Jason Maxiell (CHA) - 2.5
Marvin Williams (CHA) - 1.8
Josh McRoberts (MIA) - 1.3
Mario Chalmers (MIA) - 0.2
James Ennis (MIA) - -0.5
Norris Cole (MIA) - -0.7
Gary Neal (CHA) - -1.4

Takeaways

Four things jump out at me.

1) Shawne Williams finished with the unofficial "sixth star" in both games. After his terrible first game, he's really looking a lot more comfortable in the system.

2) Shabazz Napier has been Miami's best point guard in very limited minutes. Less limited last night, actually, as he had 26 minutes on the floor as opposed to Cole's 22. After starting the season with a great game and following with a decent game, Cole's been just terrible.

3) I don't care what you say about Justin Hamilton being "Chris Andersen only younger," Andersen was very much missed in the rotation, especially last night. Hamilton seems all right on the offensive side of the floor, but I don't think he's quite got the "attitude" to foil opponents in the paint like our beloved "Birdman," at least not quite yet.

4) Man, I love Dwyane Wade, don't you?