The Miami Heat are going to be fighting for their playoff lives for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, home games against bad teams haven't been something to count on with this team. So when the Lakers came in for a national TV spotlight, the Heat should have been ready.
They got off to a slow start, but put together an interesting game.
The first half saw the Heat play well, but it was the Lakers who held an advantage after two quarters. The Heat struggled to keep the Lakers out of the paint, and they shot 58% for the half. Miami trailed by 5 at halftime. It seemed it was a night that an inferior opponent was just going to get all their shots to fall, even if the Lakers were on a back-to-back.
The third quarter saw the Heat take a 10 point advantage, only to surrender most of it before the quarter ended. If was a combination of some great offensive play and fast break basketball and then defensive break downs to give it back. Miami took a 3 point advantage to the final frame.
The end of the third and much of the fourth was simply the Lakers second unit working well against the Heat. Carlos Boozer and Jordan Clarkson were on the bench as well as Robert Sacre. The Lakers second unit just clicked well. The Lakers had 7 players score in double figures for the game.
The Heat trailed for much of the fourth until Goran Dragic nailed a three to put the Heat ahead with 3:30 left in the game. A tight one was left to go. Two beautiful, and I mean beautiful passes from Dwyane Wade to Hassan Whiteside gave the Heat needed late scoring. One alley-oop and another nice dish for a layup. From there, the Heat just got enough stops to win the game 100-94.
It was another solid night of work for Heat center Hassan Whiteside. He brought down a career-high 25 rebounds, scored 18 points and had 4 blocks. C'mon people, that's insane...and we are starting to expect these types of nights. Whiteside held his cool tonight and played a good game despite a poor night at the foul line.
Dwyane Wade was great as well. He led the Heat with 25 points, had 6 assists and 5 rebounds. He was making the plays down the stretch. Dragic added 21 points and 6 assists, and Luol Deng had 15 points. The Heat got 19 points from the bench, led by 8 from Henry Walker.
There was some defensive lapses in this game, and Jeremy Lin almost went back to Linsanity. He was terrific with 12 points, 9 assists and 4 steals. The Lakers played 9 guys so evenly it's almost as if we weren't sure if they wanted to win. They didn't call a timeout after they were trailing by 4 points to advance the ball, rather just playing it out. Odd. Or maybe not considering their situation.