Despite Illness, LeBron James Aids Chris Bosh as Heat Propel past Suns
By: Pedro Heizer
In a game where Dwyane Wade was out with a sprained left foot, and LeBron James not feeling like himself due to flu-like symptoms, it was up to Chris Bosh, the sometimes forgotten member of the Big Three, to put the team on his back and give Miami the 97-88 victory of the Michael Beasley-led Phoenix Suns.
“I can’t remember the last time he [LeBron] missed practice or a shootaround so when he missed today, obviously that makes you wonder and you know that it’s pretty serious,” coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Despite the flu-like symptoms, LeBron was able to play and finished with 21 points on 8-20 shooting, seven rebounds, and three assists.
“It takes a lot for me not to play. Me being at 50 or 60 percent is better than me not playing at all,” said LeBron James after the game.
Phoenix’s Markieff Morris scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. Morris’ tip-in with 8:39 left in the game tied it at 79, but Ray Allen hit in an 8-footer, Shannon Brown was called for an offensive foul, and Mario Chalmers stole the ball from Sebastian Telfair, leading to a LeBron James fast-break layup.
With five minutes to go, Miami was off to a 9-0 run that was capped by LeBron’s reverse dunk.
Despite that, Phoenix would not go away. Sebastian Telfair sank a 3-pointer to start the Suns’ rally. Goran Dragic knocked the ball loose and gathered it in for a layup to cut it to 90-88 with 2:11 remaining. Phoenix had a chance to tie but Michael Beasley missed an open 14-footer.
Bosh made a pair of free throws, James hit a driving layup, then Miami made three of four free throws in the final 30 seconds to finally put it away and finish the trip 4-2.
The HEAT defense picked it up at the last two games of the road trip. The Suns struggled to get good looks as the HEAT defense was attacking ballhandlers and crowding shooters. The fact that the offense doesn’t appear to be slowing down, makes any defensive improvement go a long way for Miami.
Game MVP: Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh finished with 24 points and nine rebounds against the Suns. Bosh made nine of his eleven attempts and was generally unstoppable. “I know that my role has changed a bit and I have to be a lot more aggressive [when Wade is out] so it’s just a matter of making shots when I’m open,” said Bosh.
Bosh has been playing very well this season. Like he said, he’s more aggressive, and he’s not forcing shots like he used to, he just lets the shots come to him.
It’s sad really, a once promising NBA star’s fall from grace.
Despite having a great first half, former Miami Heat player Michael Beasley, had yet another mediocre game versus the team that drafted him. Beasley had 12 points and five first-half rebounds, but finished the game with 14 points and seven rebounds.
According to sources, Beasley is on the verge of losing his starting job. Coach Alvin Gentry clearly wasn’t happy with the performance of his starters, who only gave him 37 points. “We have to make some adjustment,” he said. “We can’t keep playing like this. We have to do something where we can make an adjustment and we’ll see what can happen from here.”
Stat of the Night: 2
Miami’s own, Udonis Haslem, is two rebounds away from taking the franchise lead in rebounding over Alonzo Mourning (4,807). He would become the first undrafted player to lead a franchise in rebounding.