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29 posts from December 2008

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Entering 2009: Where Things Stand Now

The Heat's last game of 2008 was far more impressive than its first.

Remember that 103-98 loss at home to Milwaukee on Jan. 2, 2008? Neither do I. And I was there, I think. But that setback dropped the Heat to 8-24 en route to a 15-67 finish in 2007-08.

Tuesday's 104-95 home victory against the title contending Cavaliers brought the Heat's record this season to a respectable 17-13 through its first 30 games of 2008-09.

As the Heat heads into what appears to be a promising New Year, we update where things stand with each player on the roster at the close of 2008.

Joel Anthony - The second-year, shot-blocking center still struggles to catch the ball. But as long as the Heat stays above .500 and defensively consistent, he'll hold onto a starting job.

Marcus Banks - Another year Banks finds himself without a steady role despite a starter's salary. He recently pulled ahead as the No. 2 point guard, a move even coach Erik Spoelstra has trouble explaining. Maybe this was truly about defense. Or maybe Banks is being showcased for potential trades.

Michael Beasley - Fun-loving kid who is still searching for his way, despite his offensive production. Of the top five players chosen in last June's draft, Beasley is one of only two who isn't a starter.

Mark Blount - Every team has a highly overpaid, under-producing player stuck on the bench. Blount is the Heat's representative. A heck of a nice guy, who, at this pace, will earn about $230K per game played.

Mario Chalmers - Cool. Calm. Confident. Is playing like he was the Heat's No. 2 overall pick. Has become the second-most important player on the Heat's roster behind employee No. 3.

Daequan Cook - What a difference a year makes. Because, a year ago, you had to wonder if the Heat simply missed on this kid. Now, he anchors the Heat's bench and is Wade's No. 1 bailout option.

Yakhouba Diawara - Has only showed flashes of the defensive stopper the Heat thought it landed in free agency. Frenchie, as Diawara is called by teammates, has had a hard time finding playing time.

Udonis Haslem - Beat him up in the paint. Bloody him. Still, Haslem continues to bounce back for more. Looks like this will finally be the season he averages that elusive points-rebounds, double-double.

James Jones - Any day now, he'll pop up on the active roster after a methodical recovery from wrist surgery. But it will be interesting to see where he fits in, considering Cook's surprising emergence.

Shaun Livingston - The promise is still there (we think), even though the playing time is not. Livingston remains a long-term project as he works back from 2007 knee surgery. Sitting has to be killing him.

Jamaal Magloire - His legs and explosion might be shot, but he's still big enough to bang, board and bring that intimidating presence in the paint the Heat desperately needs ... until Zo makes up his mind.

Shawn Marion - By now it's obvious that Marion is more counterpart than catalyst. But that's fine, as long as he continues to rebound, defend and provide energy. His $17.8 million expiring salary will keep him in play for potential deals until the Feb. 19 trading deadline.

Chris Quinn - Remember that line from the Ice Cube movie, Friday? When Cube's character, Craig, got fired on his day off? Somehow, that's happened with Quinn, who was demoted to third-string point guard when he was shooting a team-best 44 percent from 3-point range.

Dwyane Wade - Putting up MVP numbers in every category now, including team victories. Wade is having the best all-around season of his six-year career. Thirty games into the season, the issue is no longer whether D.Wade is back. It's how far can he go?

Dorell Wright - Speaking of characters from funny movies. Remember Can't-Get-Right, the character from Eddie Murphy's movie, Life? Well, that's Wright. Despite two procedures on his troublesome left knee, including March 2008 surgery, Dorell just can't get right. And it's a shame.

Alonzo Mourning - The mystery man. He's not on the roster, and is officially a free agent. But Zo continues to work toward a return from last December's devastating knee surgery. The Heat would have to make a roster move to make room for Zo. But at this stage, would a reunion be more about gratitude or need? And would a three-month swan song be worth parting with the potential of a Livingston or Diawara? Or even pausing the progress of Anthony? Or would the simple answer be to release Magloire before contracts are guaranteed on Jan. 10, with the hope that Zo would be ready to step in soon after?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Heat 104, Cavaliers 95 (Beyond the Box Score)

It's tough to doubt the Heat after this one.

Miami and Cleveland have played 96 minutes of basketball over three days, and the team that was in control for 92 of those minutes wasn't the one with one of the league's best records and the odds-on favorite to win MVP honors. LeBron James, who turned 24 on Tuesday, is now 0-3 on his birthday.

But unlike on Sunday, the Heat was able to finish off the Cavaliers this time. Fueled by a roster-wide effort that included leadership and solid decision-making from Dwyane Wade, clutch shooting from Daequan Cook and Mario Chalmers, key defense from Shawn Marion and all-out grit and hustle from Udonis Haslem, the Heat held off the Cavs 104-95 on Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

LeBron did his thing. But it wasn't enough. The Heat is 17-13 through 30 games, and has wins against the Spurs, Lakers, Suns and Cavs among others.

Player of the Game: Mario Chalmers - Dwyane Wade knew the Cavs would force the ball out of his hands. So he told Chalmers before the game to "be ready to shoot." Like a wise rookie, Chalmers listened and executed. Chalmers made a career-high six three-pointers (tying a Heat rookie record) and finished 7 of 9 overall from the field for 21 points to go with eight assists and three steals without a turnovers. He also hounded Heat Nemesis Mo Williams into a 2-of-8 night.

Surprise, Surprise: Shawn Marion - Made LeBron James work for every point of that 35.5 points per game average in two matchups against the Heat. Seriously. And unlike Sunday, Marion even had enough left to contribute a bit on the offensive end. Marion's dunks and putbacks were key down the stretch for the Heat. He had 14 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block in 37 minutes. For those who suggest he should be traded, this is why he's valuable to the Heat.

Tough Night: Michael Beasley - Was only 1 of 5 from the field and played only 13 minutes. Never found a rhythm or his role in the game. Still he finished with eight points and five rebounds. In a season of on-again-off-again nights, this was an off night for Beasley.

Shut 'em Down: Mo Williams - He's been a Heat killer since his days in Milwaukee. But Mo didn't have his mojo Tuesday against Mario Chalmers. Williams missed six of his eight shots and had two turnovers. On Sunday it was Williams who closed the door on the Heat with 20 points, including a big fourth quarter in which he made clutch shot after clutch shot.

Stat of the Night: 61.1 - That's the percentage the Heat shot from three-point range, which represented a season high. Miami was 11 of 18 from beyond the arc.

That says it all: "After the way we played in Cleveland, we felt it was a shame that, down the stretch, we didn't make the proper decisions. Tonight, when it got down to that point, we just wanted to focus on closing it out." - Heat forward Udonis Haslem, on the Heat's response Tuesday after blowing a nine-point lead in Sunday's loss at Cleveland.

Next Up: Friday - Heat at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. Amway Arena

Monday, December 29, 2008

If It's Adjustments You Want ...

A few weeks ago, a mixed martial arts match at AmericanAirlines Arena borrowed a motion picture title as the theme for its knock-down, drag-out show.

Fittingly, it was called: There Will Be Blood.

The sequel could very well return to the arena Tuesday, when the defensive-minded Heat and pound-it-out Cavaliers meet for the second time in three days. Truth is, there was blood the other night when Ud_blood the two teams met. Just ask Udonis Haslem, who need six stitches and medical glue to close a gash above his right eye supplied by an inadvertent elbow from LeBron James.

But don't mistake these Heat-Cavs games for the slug-fest that defined those Heat-Knicks or even Heat-Bulls clashes of yesterseason. The Heat and Cavs have a high respect for one another. Their stars - Dwyane Wade and James - are good friends on and off the court. Their coaches climbed the same ladder out of the film room to the bench to land elite jobs.

So what took place on the court in Sunday's 93-86 Cleveland win didn't resemble animosity or bad blood between the teams. It was simply hard-fought basketball. Expect much of the same Tuesday night.

Players and coaches from both sides have called this two-games-in-three days drama a mini playoff series. Both teams are expected to make some adjustments and tweaks for Tuesday's game.

Here are a few we'd suggest for the Heat.

1. Start Jamaal Magloire - Or at least go to him for extended minutes early. The game is going to be physical, so why not set a tone early by allowing Magloire to pound and patrol the paint defensively? He's got fouls to spare. Plus he can actually catch the ball and provide at least a slight hint of a post-up game. Then, Joel Anthony's fresh legs, extra fouls with which to play, shot-blocking and athleticism would come in handy late.

2. Post-up D. Wade - Why not? Cleveland opened the game with Delonte West guarding Wade. West gives up at least one inch and maybe 20 pounds in the matchup. If Cleveland is going to trap anyway, Wade can initiate the offense from below the free-throw line instead of having the ball forced out of his hands at the top of the key. Settling for jump shots puts no pressure on Cleveland's defense.

3. Don't forget Haslem - Since his shooting tough appears to be back (He was 7 of 11 on Sunday), keep feeding the hot hand, especially in those moments when U.D. is at center and can draw either Big Z or Varejao away from the basket, defensively.

Cook_foul 4. Return the favor - Since Cleveland had success trapping Wade down the stretch, why not double LeBron James whenever he touches the ball? The Heat is quick enough to recover on defense. There's no way Miami can stop James straight up. Force Varejao, Ben Wallace, Big Z and others to beat you. Just don't leave Mo Williams and West open.

5. Go to Beasley - Beasley played with a sense of focus on Sunday. When he's in that mode, go to him early and often. But with one condition: He must drive to the basket and finish or draw fouls to help get the Heat in the bonus. He can't settle for jumpers and bail out the Cavs defense. He's crafty enough to catch in the high post, drive around his defender and finish at the rim.

And if all else fails, do whatever it takes to keep the game close enough until late in the fourth.

Simply hand the ball to Wade.

Get out of his way.

And hope the Heat gets the fourth quarter calls from the officials at AmericanAirlines Arena that the Cavaliers got in Quicken Loans Arena the other night.


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cavaliers 93, Heat 86 (Beyond the Box Score)

CLEVELAND - For the Heat, this one hurt.

Literally. Not only did Miami squander a nine-point fourth-quarter lead in Sunday's 93-86 loss to the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, it also got beat up along the way.

Players and coaches from both sides were already talking about this matchup being similar to a mini-playoff series, with the teams set to meet again Tuesday in Miami. But then came the physical play, free-throw disparity and all of the other things that accompany postseason play.

Udonis Haslem was elbowed in the eye by LeBron James during a loose-ball scramble in the fourth. The blow sent blood streaming down Haslem's right eye and required six stitches and glue to close. Heat guard Mario Chalmers also limped out of Cleveland with a strained right hamstring.

And I lost track of the number of cuts and scrapes on Shawn Marion's arm after a night of trying to slow LeBron James, who finished with probably the hardest 33 points he's scored this season. The Heat simply faded down the stretch and didn't have enough here. It will try to regroup at home.

Player of the Game: Dwyane Wade - Overcame a rough first-half to finish with a team-high 29 points to meet his season average in a matchup between the top two scorers in the league. Wade was 3 of 11 from the field in the first half. Wade was 9 of 14 from the field in the second half. He simply ran into the stingiest defense in the league. Wade did most of his damage from a distance. He only had two turnovers, but the one in the fourth quarter proved too costly during a Cavs' 12-0 run.

Surprise, Surprise: Udonis Haslem - After struggling with his offense in recent games, Haslem emerged from his semi-slump to finish with 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting from the field. He also had nine rebounds and a blocked shot. He certainly would have had a double-double had he not missed those minutes late in the fourth after he was pounded in the eye by James.

Tough Night: Mario Chalmers - Had a tough night guarding Mo Williams, who, if you recall, was the object of the Heat's point guard affection the summer before last during free agency. The Heat couldn't corner him then and couldn't contain him Sunday. Chalmers was 1 of 7 from the field, with five fouls, five assists, four steals and two turnovers. He limped out of the arena with a strained hamstring.

Lit 'em Up: LeBron James - No surprise here. James had 20 of his game-high 33 points in the first half. He was forced into some tough shots by Shawn Marion. But at the end of the day, James did what James does. He was 12 of 19 from the field and also had nine assists and six rebounds. "If he gets that many shots, he's going to make some of them," was what Marion said afterward. James hit plenty of jumpshots, but had very few highlights at the rim.

Stat of the Night: 20-5 - That's the difference in free-throw attempts between the Cavs and Heat in the decisive fourth quarter. Cleveland made 14 of 20. Miami made 4 of 5. That's the ballgame.

That says it all: "For 44 minutes, it was hard-fought. We just need to find a way to get some resolve. Whatever we want say, we were still up nine (points) and it was our game to close." - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on Miami blowing a 9-point fourth quarter lead.

Next Up: Tuesday - Cavs at Heat, AmericanAirlines Arena, 7:30

Friday, December 26, 2008

Heat 90, Bulls 77 (Beyond the Box Score)

The bad blood is back in the Bulls-Heat rivalry.

After the way Friday's game ended, that much is certain. The Heat used a late 14-2 run, fueled by Daequan Cook's clutch shooting from three-point range, to pull away to a 90-77 victory at AmericanAirlines Arena.

This game had a bit of everything, with the exception of well-executed offense.

There was the pregame hype that went into top draft pick Derrick Rose facing No. 2 pick Michael Beasley for the first time. There was Rose's matching up at point guard with "steal of the draft" candidate Mario Chalmers. And it was topped off with rookie coaches Erik Spoelstra and Vinny Del Negro ruffling one another's feathers in the aftermath of Spoelstra calling a timeout with 30 seconds left.

The teams meet again Feb. 12 in Chicago in what should offer the next chapter in a rivalry filled with controversial moments, hard fouls and trash-talking between the teams. It's almost like the 2005 and 2006 postseason all over again. Now, if they can only get back to the playoffs to make it all worthwhile.

Player of the Game: Daequan Cook - Cook drilled three clutch three-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Heat broke open a tied game and built a double-digit lead late in the game. Cook has made at least four three pointers in five consecutive games. His confidence is back. A week ago, the second-year guard joked that he had the "yellow light" from coach Erik Spoelstra to shoot whenever he's open. "I guess now it's yellowish green," Cook said. "I guess that's turquoise." Cook is averaging 15.2 points per game over his last five contests and is shooting 63.6 percent from 3-point range in that span.

Surprise, Surprise: Joel Anthony - Impacted the game early with two of his game-high four blocked shots. He also altered at least six other shots. Offensively, Anthony's hands still have a Roberto Duran quality to them, which prevents him from having a bigger impact in the paint. But he's doing his job, and that's grabbing a few boards, blocking a few shots, outletting the ball for fast breaks and staying out of the way in the paint when Dwyane Wade drives to the basket.

Tough Night: Udonis Haslem - Was only 2 of 10 from the field as his offense continues to slide. But Haslem more than made of for his errant touch by grabbing 14 rebounds, which matched his season high.

Shut 'em Down: Derrick Rose - Promising rookie point guard missed 11 of the 14 shots he attempted and was forced into five turnovers. Credit rookie counterpart Mario Chalmers, who had something to prove in his matchup with the top-rated guard in his draft class. Chalmers, a second-round pick, had 16 points and six assists while outplaying Rose on both ends of the court.

Stat of the Night: 77 points. The Heat held the Bulls to their second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Heat improved to 8-1 on the season when it holds opponents to 90 or fewer points.

That says it all: "It was an extremely hard-fought game. I thought it was a Miami Heat basketball-type win there in the fourth quarter. That was one of better defensive games, beginning to end." - Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on his team's defensive dominance against the Bulls.

Next Up: Sunday - Heat at Cleveland, 7 p.m. Quicken Loans Arena


Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Heat's gift: Mario Chalmers

First, Happy Holidays to all and a reminder that the Heat chat will go on as scheduled at 1 p.m., today, Thursday. http://www.miamiherald.com/qna/forum/heat_chat/index.html

Sure the Heat is pleased to be 15-12, have a healthy Dwyane Wade and a future of the franchise in rookie Michael Beasley. But looking at the last six months perhaps the biggest thing to be thankful for  was the Heat being able to trade up for Mario Chalmers in the second round. If Minnesota hadn't agreed to let the Heat trade up we could be sitting here today talking about how the Heat is looking for its point guard of the future. Perhaps another team would have made a trade with the Heat, but it's really unlikely that Chalmers would have fallen beyond the top few picks in the second round.

"There were teams trying to trade for him late in the first round," said Kansas assistant Joe Dooley, who recruited Chalmers to Kansas and worked closely with him in his three years in Lawrence.

Mario22_heat_dep_hmg Chalmers has started all 27 games for the Heat and been sound playing alongside Wade. Sure he has his moments but so far he's proven to be one of the top rookie point guards. He has guarded everyone from Tony Parker, Devin Harris, Chris Paul to Kobe Bryant and Derek Fisher, but his next matchup is also worth watching. He'll be guarding top overall pick Derrick Rose.

Chalmers hit the game-tying three pointer in the national title game that sent Kansas to overtime and ultimately beat Memphis. That was the first time Chalmers and Rose had ever played against each other. They faced each other in Orlando in the Summer League, but this will be more meaningful because it will be televised nationally Friday (ESPN, 5 p.m.) and Chalmers is eager to continue proving that teams made a mistake by allowing him to fall to No. 34 in the draft.

Rookie Michael Beasley, who was passed over by Chicago and wants to have a big game too, said Chalmers still talks about the draft snub and finds it a constant source of inspiration. Wade gushed about Rose and said that the rookie is more athletic than he is, but Wade also raved about Chalmers and said his teammate deserves more recognition for his performance thus far.   

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Beasley's playing time and the Quinn/Banks situation

Rookie forward Michael Beasley's playing time has dwindled in the past three games--18, 15 and 13 minutes--coinciding with the Heat's winning streak. But I wouldn't read too much into it. Coach Erik Spoelstra insisted after Wednesday's practice that Beasley is improving and said it's particularly evident in practices.

Mike24_heat_dep_hmg_5 He said Beasley's role is likely to grow and that the Heat needs him to impact games. He remains the team's second-leading scorer behind Dwyane Wade. Spoelstra's assessment is that Beasley, 19, is ahead of schedule, particularly if you look at young power forwards that have broken into the league in recent years.

It seems that there is some disappointment with Beasley so far, at least based on reading the comments section in this blog. Yes, he's the future of the franchise and the No. 2 pick so expectations are high, but remember he is 27 games into his rookie season and he's 19. His defense needs improvement but the Heat seem pleased with the progress he's been making. The kid is a natural scorer and remember this is the first time in his life that he's being asked to play defense and being held accountable. Good for the Heat staff, making him earn his playing time. As long as the Heat is winning, perhaps there is something to be said for bringing him along and taking the long view. All indications point to Beasley being a willing learner and hard worker--all good signs.

Now onto the position battle that seems back on between backup point guards Chris Quinn and Marcus Banks. Quinn did not play against New Jersey, while Banks did. Tuesday Banks entered in the first half and then Quinn in the second half. For a stretch this season Banks was not playing at all, while Quinn did see action. Now it's unclear where each stands.

"Right now it's not totally black and white," Spoelstra said, in response to a question about how he determines whether Quinn and/or Banks plays. "It's a situational deal. It depends on who we're playing and what the need is. Marcus gives a defensive disposition, aggressive on the ball, Chris gets us into offense very efficiently, and when he's making shots the offense can be even more explosive."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Miami Heat 96, Golden State Warriors 88 (Beyond the Box Score)

This one was tougher than it perhaps should have been. The Warriors were missing its top three scorers--Jamal Crawford, Corey Maggette and Stephen Jackson--and it showed for the Heat. The Warriors young players--Brandan Wright, C.J. Watson, Anthony Randolph, Kelenna Azubuike--played well. The Heat had to overcome a sluggish start to win its third straight game and seventh in its past 10 games. What took all of last to accomplish 15 wins, happened Tuesday. The Heat reached the 15-win mark by Christmas for the first time since the 2005-06 championship season.

Player of the Game: Not to overlook Dwyane Wade, who scored 32 points (his 13th game of at least 30 points this season, and also added 8 rebounds, 8 assists, three steals and three blocked shots), but guard Daequan Cook had a big night. He scored a season-high 20 points off the bench, including 15 in the second quarter. In a stretch of 5:01 he sunk five three-pointers (no missed shots). His performance was especially important because the Warriors had built an 11-point lead and he prevented Golden State from letting the game get out of hand. After the game Wade said: "Daequan came in and saved us early on." Cook was an efficient 7 of 11 from the field and 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. His five three-pointers tied his career-high.

Surprise, surprise: Udonis Haslem's 16-point effort was his best offensive performance since the Heat's Dec. 1 overtime win at Golden State. He shot 8 of 11 from the field and broke out of a slump. He had scored 28 points combined in the past five games. Haslem said he had been struggling mentally after three recent deaths in his family.

Tough night: Rookie Michael Beasley played 13 minutes and was 2 of 7 from the field with five points. Asked about how Beasley could earn more playing time, coach Erik Spoelstra said: "We had to change the energy. Michael will continue to get his opportunities. He is in the rotation." He's 19 and in the midst of an up and down stretch--of playing time and production.

Lit' em Up: C.J. Watson, starting in place of an injured Crawford, had a team-high 18 points on 7 of 15 shooting and 2 of 4 from three-point range. His three-pointer with 29.8 seconds left pulled the Warriors to within 6 points.

Stat of the Night: Shawn Marion had a season-high 16 rebounds, the most by a Heat player this season. His contributions should not be understated. Sure he's scoring below his career average but he remains very valuable to this team and clearly is not concerned with his stats. He helped the Heat win the rebounding battle 48-41.

That Says It All: "I mean I don't want to make too much of it but yeah," -Haslem said, in response to a question about whether reaching 15 wins is significant. "Last year was a tough season for everybody. We're past that now and we move on."

Next up: Heat vs. Bulls, Friday 5 p.m. (ESPN), AmericanAirlines Arena

The Miami Heat and Dwyane Wade's Magic Number: 30

When Dwyane Wade scores at least 30 points the Heat is 9-3. He's well aware of the stat.

"If I had my way, I would do it every night," Wade said.

Of course Wade wants help from his teammates and realizes the team will need more than a one-man show every night, but he also knows the reality: "When I'm scoring it makes the game easier for other guys. It opens the court for them as well."

Can Wade, the league's leading scorer, sustain this pace?

"It's tough," Wade said. "That's why there are not many people built to do it in the league."

Is Wade one of the them?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Heat 106, Nets 103 (Beyond the Box Score)

The Heat's back-to-back blues are through.

At least for now.

For the second time this season, Heat guard Dwyane Wade poured in 43 points in a game. For the first time this season, Miami won the second game of a back-to-back set. Wade's amazing fourth quarter offensive display lifted the Heat to a 106-103 victory over the Nets at IZOD Center.

As big as Wade's 13 field goals were, his two assists in the fourth quarter were just as huge. Wade scored 12 of the Heat's final 14 points. But he beat the Nets double-team coverage to find Daequan Cook for a corner three-pointer midway through the fourth. Wade also beat the two-man Nets swarm in the final seconds to find Udonis Haslem for a baseline jumper.

The Heat has followed its three-game losing streak with consecutive wins against the Lakers and Nets. At 14-12, the Heat is now one victory away from matching last season's win total when it finished an NBA-worst 15-67.

Player of the Game: Who Else - That's his new name. Because who else would do so much, make so many clutch plays down the stretch and simply will the Heat to victory. Dwyane Wade. Wade's performance Saturday left the row of NBA scouts sitting behind press row shaking their heads. They see the guy every night. Still, they're amazed when he has it going the way he had it going against the Nets. Wade was unstoppable. He matched his season high with 43 points and also added five assists and four rebounds. If carrying the team on his back like this is a burden, Wade isn't showing any sign of stress.

Surprise, Surprise: Daequan Cook - Well, it wasn't exactly a surprise to see Cook come off the bench and finish with a season-high 17 points on 4 of 5 shooting from three-point range. Cook has consistently hit double figures off the bench in recent weeks. At this pace, you have to wonder where James Jones is going to fit once he returns from wrist surgery. I guess it's a good problem to have. Cook is shooting, and defending, with a swagger that didn't exist during his rookie season last year. Again, it's one game. But the signs of progress are there.

Tough Night: Mario Chalmers - That's the closest you could come to finding a Heat player who may have struggled Saturday. Still, Chalmers had seven assists, two steals and a block in 37 minutes against Devin Harris, who went just 5 of 15 from the field after torching Jason Kidd for 41 points a night earlier. Chalmers was 3 of 12 from the field, with two turnovers.

Shut 'em down: Vince Carter/Devin Harris - The league's highest-scoring starting backcourt combined to go only 10 of 29 from the field. Each scored 21 points. They entered the game averaging a combined 47.5 points.

Stat of the Night: 106 - The Heat's point total. Miami is now 8-1 this season when it scores at least 100.

That says it all: "We tried to throw everything at (Wade). He was relentless. He wouldn't give it up." - Nets coach Lawrence Frank said of Wade's 43-point effort.

Next Up: Tuesday - Golden State at Miami, 7:30 AmericanAirlines Arena



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