The Miami Heat showed everyone once again why they're the defending champions, beating the Philadelphia 76ers with swift execution by a score of 114-90. The Heat shot 61 percent in the first half and 58 percent for the game in one of their most impressive offensive performances of the season.
LeBron James led the way with a triple-double, and Dwyane Wade never pulled his foot off the gas, scoring 33 points on an incredible 14-of-18 shooting performance. The Heat also kept Philadelphia off the free-throw line, committing just 10 personal fouls, with most of them coming after the game was already decided.
It was an unspectacular game from Mario Chalmers despite the decent stat line. He finished with 14 points and six assists, but nearly all his production occurred after LeBron James and Dwyane Wade had already pushed Philadelphia into the rear-view mirror.
Chalmers played 27 minutes, and defensively, he allowed Jrue Holiday to do what he wanted, when he wanted to do it.
Dwyane Wade started the game aggressive, scoring nine points in the first nine minutes of action. And he continued on, going for 17 in the first half on an assortment of twisting layups and pull-up jumpers (that were actually going in).
He finished the game with an astonishingly efficient 33 points on 14-of-18 shooting, and there wasn't any way Philadelphia could defend him with that jump shot consistently falling.
LeBron James only had five points at halftime, but he still looked like one of the best players on the floor, controlling where the ball went on offense and happily passing out of double/triple-teams to find the open man (he finished with six assists in the first half).
He basically dominated all facets of the game, especially in that flawless third quarter, where he commanded the boards, ran the fast break and single-handedly created open shot after open shot for all his teammates. Oh, and if scoring is your thing, he did that, too, throwing down a grotesque alley-oop dunk one play after spinning through Philadelphia's defense for a layup.
Nobody is close to this guy right now. He finished with a triple-double: 16 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Despite playing with a gimpy leg, you got the feeling if LeBron had to double those numbers, he could've.
Udonis Haslem had a relatively solid game, showing up on the boards, knocking down a couple of baseline jumpers and adding that ferocious intensity on the defensive end. But he also missed a wide-open layup.
In 20 minutes of play, Haslem scored four points on four shots and grabbed seven rebounds. His presence underneath helped spur Miami's double-digit lead, though.
Chris Bosh didn't record his first rebound until 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter, but his presence was felt in the opening moments, as he took Miami's first three shots. Elsewhere, he was quiet, hardly noticeable with Wade and LeBron dominating the game.
Bosh took one free throw, grabbed one rebound, dished out one assist and scored 13 points on 12 shots.
Ray Allen knocked down a big three-pointer from his sweet spot—the left corner—with just a few seconds remaining in the first half. That's to be expected.
He also displayed some unexpected agility from the perimeter, breaking down Philadelphia's defense with penetration and dump-off passes a couple of times in the first half. He finished with 12 points on four made three-pointers in 26 minutes of action.
As usual, Miami's bench wasn't a major factor because LeBron James and Dwyane Wade didn't allow it to be. Everyone on the active roster made an appearance in this one, including Chris Andersen, Joel Anthony, Jarvis Varnado and Rashard Lewis. No one did anything notable.
Norris Cole was as spectacular as a backup point guard can be in garbage time, though, scoring 12 points on 10 shots in 21 minutes.