It wasn’t a pretty victory, but Lebron James and the Miami Heat escaped with a 104-96 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday night.
As usual, Lebron was the best player in the arena in this game, scoring 34 points to go with 8 rebounds and 6 assists, but his greatness wasn’t the only “turning point” in Miami’s win. With 7:54 remaining in the 3rd quarter, the Bobcats were actually leading the defending World Champions by 7 points, but when starting point guard Kemba Walker went down with a gruesome ankle injury, it set the tone for Miami’s late run.
It took more than the standard 48 minutes for Miami to finish off Charlotte, but they turned on the jets in overtime. The aforementioned James scored 6 in the final period, but he wasn’t alone, as the Heat outscored the Bobcats 14-6 in the 5-minute period. Big man Chris Bosh scored the first 2 points and the last 2 points of overtime, and throughout the night, he was the #2 option for the Heat in the absence of Dwyane Wade, who was resting on the 2nd of a back-to-back. Bosh finished with 25 points and 7 rebounds in 37 minutes, and while Al Jefferson “got his” on the other end with 22 and 14, Bosh was quite effective.
This was quite an interesting statistical profile for Miami, as they took to the glass and won the rebounding battle 43-34, but were out-shot from 3-point distance against the usually perimeter-challenged Bobcats. It is often said that the mark of a great team is the ability to win different kinds of games, though, and the Heat put that to the test in this one.
Fortunately for Miami, there are no points for stylistic victories. Playing without Wade is never fun, no matter who you are, but when your “other two” stars are Lebron James and Chris Bosh, any absence can be overcome.