Playing without Dwyane Wade who sat out Sunday night's game with a sore knee, the Heat pounded the Bobcats 109-77 to extend their historic victory parade to 26 straight. LeBron James scored 32 points in the win to lead all scorers, and Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20.
Things started out a bit dicey for Miami as the Bobcats jumped out to an early 11-point lead, but then the Heat kicked things into gear as James began throwing down some highlight-reel dunks that completely took the steam out of Charlotte.
Miami shot 50 percent from the floor and held the Bobcats to 34 percent.
The Heat will try to make it 27 straight in their next game against the Orlando Magic.
One of the only negatives about the Heat's performance against the Bobcats was the outing provided by Mario Chalmers.
Chalmers finished with two points in 26 minutes and didn't make a single field goal, bricking the four three-pointers he attempted and displaying some sloppy ball-handling. He was dribbling the ball off of his feet, losing the ball in traffic and simply not looking very comfortable.
Chalmers also had a lot of trouble staying with Kemba Walker, and while Chalmers is not known for his defense, he was getting absolutely torched by Walker's quickness.
To cap things off, despite Miami's margin of victory, 'Rio posted a minus-1 plus/minus stat.
Yeah. Not a very effective evening for the Heat point guard.
Starting in place of Wade, Mike Miller immediately hit a trifecta with his first shot of the game. After hitting one more trey in the first period, Miller went scoreless the rest of the way, but he demonstrated some solid floor vision by finding his teammates in the post for easy looks a couple of times.
In 21-and-a-half minutes of play, Miller finished with those six points off 2-of-7 shooting and dished out four assists. He also grabbed three rebounds.
Miller did have some issues defensively, however, and it shows in his minus-6 plus/minus.
Just another day at the office for LeBron.
James came up just shy of triple-double with those 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. He was incredibly efficient to boot, shooting 11-of-14 from the floor and hitting on 10 of his 11 free-throw attempts. Included in those 11 field-goal makes were several rim-rocking jams—jams that are so typical of LeBron.
As you can tell from his 10 assists, he did a great job getting his teammates involved, particularly Chris Andersen whom he set up for several easy looks with outstanding passes.
James didn't just do his work on the offensive end of the floor, however. He also blocked three shots and picked up three steals, making his presence felt all over the floor.
Yes, it was the Bobcats, but still, LeBron couldn't possibly have played any better on Sunday night.
Udonis Haslem was OK in this one.
He made his presence felt on the glass very early, pulling down four boards in the first quarter. Haslem finished with one point and five rebounds in 16 minutes and did a nice job of battling underneath the glass. Even if he wasn't grabbing the rebound, he was fighting off Charlotte players so they couldn't haul it in themselves.
Like Miller, Haslem also posted a minus-6, taking a fairly significant chunk out of his overall grade.
Chris Bosh was decent against the Bobcats.
He scored 15 points off 5-of-12 shooting and hauled in six rebounds in 31 minutes of play. His biggest impact on the game came in the second quarter where he scored eight points, knocking down jumpers and scoring inside, as well. Bosh's versatility was on full display during those 12 minutes.
You would still like to see Bosh battle for rebounds a little bit more, but you just have to come to terms with the fact that he is not that kind of player.
It would also be nice to see Bosh stop shooting so many threes and instead try to get stuff going to the basket. Although he can hit the trifecta, he hasn't been too efficient in doing so. Bosh missed the lone contested triple he attempted against Charlotte and is now shooting 25 percent from beyond the arc on the season. As the team's center, he has to be more prudent with his shot selection.
Regardless, this wasn't a bad outing for Bosh.
You absolutely have to love the effort Ray Allen put forth tonight.
He went on an 8-0 run all by himself at one point during the second period and ended up with 14 points off 5-of-9 shooting, connecting on four of his five three-point tries. Allen also came down with seven rebounds, a very high number for him.
Allen did all of that in 22-and-a-half minutes, and the most impressive part about his stat line? The plus-33 plus/minus, which was tied with Norris Cole for the team led.
When Ray is hitting from the perimeter like he was tonight, Miami is nearly impossible to beat. He has had numerous games like this during the Heat's winning streak.
Wow. What a night for Miami's pine.
Cole in particular was fantastic, scoring 15 points off 5-of-9 shooting, dishing out six assists and recording that plus-33 plus/minus stat mentioned in the previous slide. He played very smart basketball all night and made an incredible pass about half the length of the court for a LeBron alley-oop.
Andersen was also great, tallying six points and five rebounds and making an incredible block on Walker that led to a James slam on the other end.
Let's also not forget the contributions of Rashard Lewis and Shane Battier who put in seven and six points, respectively.
Great, great effort by the Heat reserves in this one.