Philadelphia 76ers vs. Miami Heat: Postgame Grades and Analysis for Miami
Paced by Jrue Holiday's 18 points and six assists, the Sixers kept it close throughout after losing the first quarter 33-18. However, as has been the case all season, the Heat cranked up the intensity in the fourth quarter to outscore the Sixers 29-11 in the game's final stanza.
Next up for the Heat is a Tuesday night matchup with their likely first-round opponent in the playoffs, the Milwaukee Bucks.
Mario Chalmers, PG: C+
Mario Chalmers came out confident Saturday night, which was a welcome sight as he was matched up against All-Star Holiday.
Opening the game with several nice baseline drives and a couple of three-pointers, Chalmers significantly outplayed Holiday in the game's first half.
Although he struggled a bit in the second half, Chalmers did a nice job of getting open with so much of Philly's attention focused on stopping James.
Chalmers made decisive and intelligent passes all night long, finishing with 11 points (3-of-8 from three) and four assists.
Mike Miller, SG: D
Starting in place of Wade, he wasn't looking for his shot early, as Chalmers and James assumed the offensive burden for the game's first 24 minutes.
Miller totaled three points, four rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes.
LeBron James, SF: A
Making his return from a three-game absence due to a strained hamstring, James looked sharp against the 76ers.
James picked up right where he left off, scoring confidently from all areas of the court and making life miserable for Damien Wilkins. Scoring off the dribble and off of the catch, James scored 11 first-quarter points and 15 in the half.
Seemingly gliding across the floor all night long, James finished with an efficient line of 27 points (12-of-17 shooting), four rebounds and five assists in limited minutes.
Udonis Haslem, PF: B+
Udonis Haslem held his own in a tough matchup against the high-energy Thaddeus Young in a very productive night from the veteran forward.
He helped hold Young to nine points and just one rebound, as he combined with Chris Andersen and Joel Anthony to make life difficult for the lengthy 6'8'' combo-forward.
Haslem finished with 10 points, five rebounds and one block in just 18 minutes of floor time.
Joel Anthony, C: D
Started in place of Bosh, Joel Anthony was hardly an adequate replacement for the eight-time All-Star.
Spencer Hawes posed significant problems for Anthony on the defensive end and finished with 11 points (4-of-9 shooting, 2-of-3 from three) in 28 minutes.
Anthony's impact on the offensive end was negligible, per usual, as he contributed two points on 1-of-3 shooting in 17 minutes.
Ray Allen, SG: B
Quite familiar with the Philadelphia 76ers after last year's hard-fought, seven-game series in the Eastern Conference semifinals as a member of the Boston Celtics, Ray Allen showed some aggression early against the significantly younger Evan Turner.
Allen converted on just one of his four first-half shots, but ended up with a solid 11 points, including 3-of-3 shooting from three.
Miami Bench: A-
Erik Spoelstra definitely relied on his bench to pick up the slack in this late-season matchup.
Shane Battier and Chris Andersen both saw significant minutes. Battier posted eight points and five assists in 26 minutes, while Andersen was active on both ends of the floor, out-hustling and out-muscling Lavoy Allen with ease.
Andersen finished with seven points and 15 rebounds in 25 minutes.
Norris Cole and Rashard Lewis both made strong contributions as well, scoring a combined 27 points on 11-of-22 shooting.