When the Miami Heat signed LeBron James for him to join forces with Dwyane Wade, this is what they were dreaming about, knowing they have two of the best basketball players in the world, both capable of incredible individual performances while playing close to 40 minutes together.
The Miami Heat, at their best, shouldn’t have too many problems with the Sacramento Kings. But it’s about piling up the wins and keeping a distance from the rest of the Eastern Conference, making sure they have time and maneuverability to make mistakes as they try to improve their defense and offense at the expense of easier wins at times. A double overtime game was enough for the two to display their abilities to the fullest, with quite impressive stat lines.
LeBron James finished with 40 points, 8 rebounds and 16 assists to lead the Heat in their 141-129 win over the Kings, followed by Wade, scoring 39 points, adding 8 rebounds and 7 assists in a rare, almost double triple double by teammates. Ray Allen had one of his best games in quite a while (8-14 from the field, 5-10 from three), scoring 21 points. It was the first time a player has had 40 points and 16 assists in a single game since 1994, when Kevin Johnson (Suns) pulled it off.
It was James’ best shooting performance of the season (14-23 from the field), scoring a season high, capping off possibly the best moth of his career, averaging 29.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 7.8 assists while shooting 64.1% from the field and 43.2% from beyond the arc. The most important thing? The Heat won 12 of 13 in February, opening a six game lead on top of the Eastern Conference, now not too far from clinching home advantage up until the NBA finals, if they get there.
Some great stat lines tonight. But I’m happy I was able to do what I did and help our team win.
It isn’t the best month the Heat have ever had with 92.3% success rate, but pretty close. Only their 2010 December (15-1) and their 2004 December (14-1) were better, mostly because they played in more games. February is a short month, what can you do.
James alone destroyed the Kings in the second overtime, scoring 11 points to the Kings’ 5, putting the game away after blowing opportunities earlier on. James was perfect in the second overtime: 3-for-3 from the field, 4-for-4 from the line. He had more points (11-5), rebounds (3-0), and assists (3-1) in the final five minutes than the Kings had combined.
One worrying sign to look for – Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh are a combined 0-of-10 on potential game-tying or go-ahead field goal attempts with 5 seconds or less remaining in the fourth quarter or overtime this season.
The Kings also got a player in the “impressive” category for the night, as Marcus Thornton scored 36 points, playing 40 minutes off the bench. That’s the most points this season by a bench player.
The Heat weren’t too worried about giving up 129 points, despite maybe needing to. After such a great month which included a win in Oklahoma City against the Thunder, they’re feeling more confident than ever about their ability to fix any problem, not to mention seeing LeBron James simply playing better basketball than ever before, while the word on Dwyane Wade’s demise were a bit premature.