Chris Bosh got his usual frigid reception upon his always controversial return to Toronto, but the Heat’s most important player responded to it with one of his best performances of the season.
The Miami big man put up 30 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks in a hugely efficient contribution that saw the Heat record their second consecutive win on a back to back.
Wade had 30 whilst James added 26 points and 9 assists.
Miami got back to what they do best, forcing turnovers, getting out on the break and playing inside out. Their 64 points in the paint overwhelmed the Raptors who barely measured half Miami’s total.
The scoreline flattered Toronto through the half, but an outstanding third quarter from DeMarr DeRozan and former no.1 pick Andrea Bargnani saw Toronto take the lead early in the fourth.
As we have seen throughout the season and even in last year’s playoffs, LeBron James often switches to the opposition’s greatest offensive threat, regardless of position or height. The 7ft Bargnani was torching everyone the Heat threw at him, so their last line of defense may be the game’s greatest defender, and James shut him out through the final 7 minutes of the game.
Norris Cole continued his return to form, offering 6 points off the bench, and Terrell Harris was even a dozen minutes of which he gave a useful 5 points. Shane Battier continued his unpredictable shooting form, failing with 0/5 from three. He needs to get that straightened out for the playoffs.
The key for Miami winning the Championship is their rebounding. It’s the first thing I look at every time I read the box score. They shared 30 rebounds with the Raptors tonight, obviously talent came out on top. They can’t rely on that every night, regardless of probably still being the most talented team in the NBA.
We’re certainly at the stage now where everyone is antsy and wants the regular season to end.