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Without Wade, Heat fall to Pelicans, squander another opportunity in standings

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Dwyane Wade and Greg Oden both sat out the end of this back-to-back for the Heat, and it cost Miami another opportunity to close the gap in the Eastern Conference Standings. The Indiana Pacers lost in Memphis to the Grizzlies, but the Heat couldn't capitalize. It's becoming the theme the last 6 weeks, when the Pacers lose, the Heat lose. It's the 11th time this season that the Heat have lost either the day of or day after a Pacers' loss.

The Pelicans won the game 105-95.

The Pelicans were just too hot for the Heat and brought a lot more energy than Miami could muster. In the first half, it was offensive problems, with the Heat scoring 43 points, but the second half they couldn't stop the Pelicans. Miami gave up 60 points in the second half. It's becoming an alarming concern for the Heat who are not playing championship level defense, which seemingly is only on display for big games from time to time.

Anthony Davis completely dominated the Heat for this game. They had no answer for him. Davis had 30 points and 11 rebounds, hitting plenty of timely shots, including 3 offensive rebounds that went for points. Davis is becoming a popular pick for Most Improved Player Award, and he showed it tonight. The Pelicans just played better from start to finish.

If we don’t change this, we will be watching the Championship from home. -Chris Bosh

One of the biggest downfalls for the Heat were the turnovers. They had 16 of them, and it cost them. The Pelicans scored 19 points off turnovers. The Heat shot 51% and had 27 assists, but the turnovers and giving up 11 offensive rebounds doomed Miami.

About the only bright spot for the Heat was the play of Michael Beasley, who hadn't played in three of the last four games for the Heat. Beasley came in and gave valuable minutes on both ends of the court. Beasley had 16 points on 8-12 shooting. Mario Chalmers also had 19 points and 7 assists for the Heat.

LeBron led the way for the Heat scoring 25 points, dishing 9 assists and grabbing 8 rebounds. LeBron apparently had some sort of ankle injury in the third quarter, but he stayed in the game. His back seemed to be bothering him as he was much more of a facilitator than he was an attacker for most of the game, and they needed 100% LeBron without Dwyane Wade.

Ray Allen's hot streak came to an end as he scored only 10 points. Chris Bosh wasn't overly effective as he needed to be, scoring 12 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.

Miami next plays on Monday night at home against the Portland Trailblazers, who got walloped by the Charlotte Bobcats on this same night.