After losing eight of thirteen contests over a three-week span, the Miami Heat now have three consecutive wins, the latest a 93-83 installment over the Toronto Raptors. Miami's storied dominance over Toronto continues as the Heat have now won 15 straight games over the Raptors, including four straight season series sweeps.
Miami was without guards Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen as well as big man Greg Oden. LeBron James, as expected, was able to shoulder the load. The four-time NBA MVP finished with 32 points on 20 shots to go along with seven rebounds and eight assists. The output marked James's 565th consecutive game with double-digit scoring, good for the fourth-longest streak in NBA history and just ten games shy of the third-longest (Karl Malone).
Chris Bosh scored 18 points but missed all four of his three-point attempts. Chris Andersen added 13 by way of a perfect five-for-five shooting night with seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Raptors are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference, despite the lack of attention they receive. Twelve different players played for Toronto and five finished with double-digit scoring. Center Jonas Valanciunas logged his team-leading 21st double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Miami's victory, coupled with yet another Indiana loss (the Pacers' fourth in a row and sixth in their last eight games), moves the Heat into the top spot in the Eastern Conference which, if held until the end of the regular season, guarantees them home-court advantage through at least the Eastern Conference Finals.
ESPN 106.3 was with the Heat after their 93-83 win over Toronto. Click on the links below to hear what they had to say about the game:
The Miami Heat returned home after a 20-day road trip that included five wins, one loss and an NBA All-Star weekend. The Heat treated their home crowd to a 93-79 victory over their conference rival in the Chicago Bulls. Four-time MVP LeBron James was ruled out of the game due to a broken nose that he suffered in Miami's win over the Thunder on Thursday. Big man Greg Oden would get the nod in his place. Oden, who has not started an NBA game since December of 2009, finished with five points, five rebounds and two fouls in just under 13 minutes.
The team was led by strong performances from the two active members of the Big Three. Forward Chris Bosh scored 28 points, including a career-high nine three-point attempts, and grabbed ten rebounds as well. Dwyane Wade nearly had a triple-double with 23 points, ten boards and seven assists.
ESPN 106.3 was with the Heat after the game. Click the links below to hear what they had to say following the win:
The biggest storylines heading into Wednesday's Heat-Thunder showdown in Miami surrounded Oklahoma City forward Kevin Durant. The three-time scoring champion came into the contest having scored 30 or more in 11 straight games. Wednesday night made it 12.
Despite a rough start for OKC, they ended up beating the Heat 112-95. Miami lead early after an 18-0 run in the first quarter, but the Thunder came back by scoring a combined 70 points in the second and third quarters. LeBron James lead all scorers with 34 points in 42 minutes. Chris Bosh added 18 along with nine rebounds. Turnovers plagued Miami all night as they committed 20 which lead to 25 points for OKC.
For the Thunder, Durant lead the way with 33 points, seven boards and five assists. Durant only had seven after the first quarter, but had plenty of help around him to pick up the slack. Big man Serge Ibaka pitched in 22 points. They got 18 from Jeremy Lamb and 15 from the ageless Derek Fisher.
ESPN 106.3 was with the Heat after the game. Hear what the team had to say following the loss:
The Heat topped the Spurs 113-101 in Miami Sunday afternoon. The first meeting between last year's conference champions brought a significantly less thrilling game than one may have anticipated. The Heat in June snuck out a Game 6 win behind a game-tying Ray Allen three to force overtime. Miami went on to win the Finals in seven games to ultimately win the second of back-to-back championships. Both teams brought a different look on Sunday.The Spurs came into the game without starters Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Danny Green, all of whom were inactive due to injury.
Miami opted to bring superstar guard Dwyane Wade off of the bench. Wade, who had missed the last four games rehabbing lingering knee issues, scored eight points in 23 minutes as a part of his first reserve role since January of 2008.
Greg Oden, acquired by the Heat in the offseason, played a season-high 12 minutes, the most he's played in a game since 2009. Plagued with knee problems throughout his career, the big man has now played in three straight games scoring three points on Sunday to go along with two rebounds, one steal and a blocked shot.
The healthier pieces of the Big Three carried most of the slack. Reigning MVP LeBron James, amid a bevy of spectacular plays, scored 18 points while also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. Chris Bosh, who has been on a scoring tear of late, continued his surge with 24 points on nine-of-ten shooting. Bosh has now scored 20 or more points in six of the last seven games, shooting an astounding 74 percent over his last three games.
ESPN 106.3 was with the Heat after their win over the Spurs. Here's what they had to say:
The Miami Heat ended up cruising to a 104-88 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks, but the score wasn't completely indicative of how the game went. The Heat, 7-4 coming into tonight's game, trailed by one point after the first quarter and only led by 3 at halftime. Chris Bosh leading all scorers with 19 points, but it was the play of the Miami guards that determined the outcome. In a game which superstar Dwyane Wade was held out for the sake of rest, the combination of point guard Mario Chalmers and usual-second-teamer Norris Cole gave the Hawks more trouble than they could handle. The Hawks' inexperience was exposed throughout the night, ultimately committing 24 turnovers. The ballhandlers for Atlanta were unable to generate any offensive flow and lacked any ability to create for their teammates. Veteran guard Ray Allen finished with 17 points for the Heat. Norris Cole added 8, as well as 9 assists. Starting point guard Mario Chalmers, back from a one-game suspension, netted 14, including nine straight unanswered in the third to help the Heat pull away for good.
Hear what the Miami Heat had to say after their 104-88 victory over Atlanta:
Below is the 2013-2014 schedule for the Miami Heat. A reminder that ESPN 106.3 is your home for Heat basketball in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast!
29 Tues. CHICAGO 8:00 PM TNT
30 Wed. @ Philadelphia 7:00 PM SUN
1 Fri. @ Brooklyn 8:00 PM SUN/ESPN
3 Sun. WASHINGTON 6:00 PM SUN
5 Tues. @ Toronto 7:00 PM SUN
7 Thurs. L.A. CLIPPERS 7:00 PM TNT
9 Sat. BOSTON 7:30 PM SUN
12 Tues. MILWAUKEE 7:30 PM SUN
15 Fri. DALLAS 7:30 PM SUN
16 Sat. @ Charlotte 7:00 PM SUN
19 Tues. ATLANTA 7:30 PM SUN
20 Wed. @ Orlando 7:00 PM SUN
23 Sat. ORLANDO 7:30 PM SUN
25 Mon. PHOENIX 7:30 PM SUN
27 Wed. @ Cleveland 7:30 PM SUN/ESPN
29 Fri. @ Toronto 7:00 PM SUN
1 Sun. CHARLOTTE 6:00 PM SUN
3 Tues. DETROIT 7:30 PM SUN
5 Thurs. @ Chicago 9:30 PM SUN/TNT
7 Sat. @ Minnesota 8:00 PM SUN
8 Sun. @ Detroit 6:00 PM SUN
10 Tues. @ Indiana 7:00 PM SUN
14 Sat. CLEVELAND 7:30 PM SUN
16 Mon. UTAH 7:30 PM SUN
18 Wed. INDIANA 7:00 PM SUN/ESPN
20 Fri. SACRAMENTO 7:30 PM SUN
23 Mon. ATLANTA 7:30 PM SUN
25 Wed. @ L.A. Lakers 5:00 PM ABC
27 Fri. @ Sacramento 10:00 PM SUN
28 Sat. @ Portland 10:00 PM SUN
30 Mon. @ Denver 9:00 PM SUN
2 Thurs. GOLDEN STATE 7:30 PM SUN
4 Sat. @ Orlando 7:00 PM SUN
5 Sun. TORONTO 6:00 PM SUN
7 Tues. NEW ORLEANS 7:30 PM SUN
9 Thurs. @ New York 8:00 PM TNT
10 Fri. @ Brooklyn 8:00 PM SUN/ESPN
15 Wed. @ Washington 7:00 PM SUN
17 Fri. @ Philadelphia 7:00 PM SUN
18 Sat. @ Charlotte 7:00 PM SUN
20 Mon. @ Atlanta 5:30 PM SUN
21 Tues. BOSTON 7:30 PM SUN
23 Thurs. L.A. LAKERS 8:00 PM TNT
26 Sun. SAN ANTONIO 1:00 PM ABC
29 Wed. OKLAHOMA CITY 7:00 PM SUN/ESPN
1 Sat. @ New York 8:30 PM SUN/ESPN
3 Mon. DETROIT 7:30 PM SUN
5 Wed. @ L.A. Clippers 10:30 PM SUN/ESPN
8 Sat. @ Utah 9:00 PM SUN
11 Tues. @ Phoenix 9:00 PM SUN
12 Wed. @ Golden State 10:30 PM SUN/NBA TV
18 Tues. @ Dallas 8:30 PM SUN
20 Thurs. @ Oklahoma City 8:00 PM TNT
23 Sun. CHICAGO 3:30 PM ABC
27 Thurs. NEW YORK 8:00 PM TNT
1 Sat. ORLANDO 7:30 PM SUN
3 Mon. CHARLOTTE 7:30 PM SUN
4 Tues. @ Houston 8:00 PM SUN
6 Thurs. @ San Antonio 8:00 PM SUN/TNT
9 Sun. @ Chicago 1:00 PM ABC
10 Mon. WASHINGTON 7:30 PM SUN
12 Wed. BROOKLYN 7:00 PM SUN/ESPN
14 Fri. DENVER 7:30 PM SUN
16 Sun. HOUSTON 3:30 PM ABC
18 Tues. @ Cleveland 7:00 PM SUN
19 Wed. @ Boston 7:30 PM SUN
21 Fri. MEMPHIS 7:30 PM SUN
22 Sat. @ New Orleans 8:00 PM SUN
24 Mon. PORTLAND 7:30 PM SUN
26 Wed. @ Indiana 8:00 PM SUN/ESPN
28 Fri. @ Detroit 7:30 PM SUN
29 Sat. @ Milwaukee 8:30 PM SUN
31 Mon. TORONTO 7:30 PM SUN
2 Wed. MILWAUKEE 7:30 PM SUN
4 Fri. MINNESOTA 7:30 PM SUN
6 Sun. NEW YORK 1:00 PM ABC
8 Tues. BROOKLYN 8:00 PM SUN/TNT
9 Wed. @ Memphis 8:00 PM SUN/ESPN
11 Fri. INDIANA 7:30 PM SUN/NBA TV
12 Sat. @ Atlanta 7:30 PM SUN
14 Mon. @ Washington 7:00 PM SUN
16 Wed. PHILADELPHIA 8:00 PM SUN