HEAT Top the Hornets
By: Steve Rawnsley
Heat fans can rest easy tonight, because all is right in the world. However, at the beginning, we were seeing what has plagued the Heat lately, and that is bad defense.
The Hornets were getting easy looks to start off the game and made the Heat pay. The first three posessions by the Hornets turned into layups, two of them by Robin Lopez, who then got to the free throw line the next possession. By the first Heat timeout the Hornets already twenty-five points, and it was barely halfway through the first quarter.
Now, seldom used reserve center Joel Anthony entered the game for defense, and he delivered. He entered the game at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter, and the Hornets had twenty-seven points. His defensive presence inside helped keep the Hornets scoreless for the next three minutes, while the Heat stormed their way back. After a total lack of defense in the first quarter, the Heat were only down one after the first quarter.
The second quarter got off to a good start for the Heat. One minute into the quarter, Norris Cole drove, and dished to Ray Allen for a corner three. Then a minute later, Mike Miller penetrated, and dished to Ray Allen for another three this time from the wing. These threes gave the Heat the lead, and the Heat never looked back.
Joel Anthony actually played the whole second quarter also. The defense of the Heat started to roll, and force some turnovers, and the Heat got out and ran. At halftime the Heat lead 64-47.
LeBron came out hot in the third quarter, hitting Miami’s first made baskets. The rest of the team was struggling scoring wise, but that was okay, due to the Heat’s great defense. The Hornets went on another scoreless drought for three minutes again early in the third quarter. During this stretch the Heat got the lead back up, and extended to nineteen. Just as the Hornets seemed to be making a run, Ray Allen again came up big with another three point shot at the 2:05 mark to put it
back to a sixteen point game.
The Heat’s offense was stagnant with the second unit at the start of the fourth quarter. They scored two points in the first four minutes, as New Orleans was trying to get back into it. The Hornets did make it a little interesting making the game an eight point game with five minutes to go. However, after that the Heat went on a 10-0 run to put the game to rest
MVP: Dwyane Wade
DWade has been getting better the past few games. Tonight he had 26 points on only twelve field goal attempts and nine free throws.
Key Stat: Hornets with 90 points
The Heat’s defense got off to a horrendous start by giving up 25 points in the first seven minutes. After that though the Hornets only scored 65 points in the final 41 minutes.
The HEAT take on the Hawks at home on Monday night.