Miami came into this game desperate, but their start was very shaky. Miami's defense was deplorable early, which translated to J.J. Redick and Chris Paul getting into Miami's face. The Heat couldn't find rhythm on offense and it in turn led to numerous turnovers that the Clippers turned into buckets. The Heat appeared lethargic, it almost seemed as if their head wasn't in the game (mental aspect of the losses?) The hoop looked small to Miami, but kept growing for Los Angeles. In eight possessions, Miami only had four points before Wade got to the line. Miami really couldn't hit open shots as Paul continued lighting Miami up.
Whiteside was the sixth man of the bench, and his impact was felt immediately as he replaced a winded Chris Andersen and grabbed a steal and tipped the ball in for two. Chris Bosh, desperate to get involved, drew a nice offensive foul on DeAndre Jordan who in turn got frustrated and received an additional technical. Whiteside didn't stop, throwing down numerous alley-oops of pick and rolls to the delight of the hometown fans.
Miami was able to pull back led by Chris Bosh and tie the game, and seemed to finally display some strong energy. Of course the Clippers didn't let up either, but started leaving Miami's players open. Miami was able to capitalize on the mismatches, and take the lead near the end of the period. They would end the period up one.
Miami started out the quarter well, bringing their lead to four. Wade also found some life after missing an easy lay-up, by converting on the next one. Despite getting hurt on the play Cole also scored a nice fast break lay-up.
Of course Miami's turnovers are still an issue, but they were able to make up for it with assists. Wade started to play floor general once again to make up for his lack of scoring. That being said, Miami emphasized sizing up Jordan Farmar, before Chris Paul came back. The Heat were able to go up by 12, and kept the lead by playing great defense. Bosh was incredible, hitting almost every jumper he took and delivering some Tall Justice. The Clippers started to find energy though, scoring in bunches thanks to Matt Barnes' aggressive play. However, despite their strong effort Miami was able to head into halftime with a nine-point lead.
The ever elusive third quarter started out great for Miami. Coach Erik Spoelstra decided to start Whiteside, and he delivered right away with an earth-shattering dunk. His spectacular play would continue with multiple baskets and point blank rejection of Blake Griffin.
Bosh didn't let up either as he continued to frustrate Jordan. Wade continued to struggle, missing easy layups after great moves to the rim. Mario Chalmers wasn't a factor, getting his fourth foul and a dirty look from Coach Spoelstra. Danny Granger appeared aggressive on defense, but mentally shaken by his shooting slump. Still thanks to Whiteside and Bosh, Miami performed their best third quarter in a very long time.
In an unexpected move, Udonis Haslem found his first minutes of the game guarding Griffin. Wade's scoring was deplorable as he missed practically everything. He seems extremely frustrated, yet still emphasized passing (he finished with 10 assists). He eventually got it going though, highlighted by a great dunk.
Miami's defense was also average to start, but they managed to pick it up throughout the quarter. Haslem was freezing cold going out for Miami, yet managed to stay in much to my surprise. Miami kept their foot on the gas the whole way though however, and thanks to Bosh (who scored a season-high 34 points) managed to end the Clippers.
- Chris Bosh: Bosh delivered his brand of Tall Justice and was spectacular scoring 34 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists.
- Hassan Whiteside: Whiteside is proving he is a fantastic big man, and had career-highs almost everywhere, scoring 23 points, grabbing 16 rebounds and blocking 2 shots.
- Wade's passing: Wade couldn't get it going from a scoring standpoint but was fantastic as a facilitator dishing out 10 assists.
- Luol Deng: Deng was solid this afternoon scoring 10 points, grabbing 3 boards and dishing out 4 assists.
- Danny Granger: Danny Granger is going through a shooting slump right now, (he went 3-9 from the field) and it seems to be affecting him mentally. Hopefully he finds his groove soon.
- Udonis Haslem: Haslem should not have started the fourth quarter and was out there way too long. He was cold, unable to hit even the easiest shots and just looked like he didn't belong.
- Norris Cole: Cole missed open jumpers like it was his job in today's game, and it might be time to give Napier a shot at his position.
- Mario Chalmers: Chalmers was terrible today finishing with two points and four fouls.
- Wade's shooting: While Wade managed to finish with a double double his shooting was terrible. Wade went 5-15 from the field and just didn't seem to be himself.