LeBron James went on a tear late, scoring 15 straight Heat points, the team’s final 15 points of the game, as he carried them to a flattering 6 point win over Philadelphia.
The 76ers remained close throughout but were never really in the game. Andre Igoudala went down during the third quarter with a truly sickening but accidental scratch to the open eye from Mario Chalmers. Igoudala reacted immediately and left the game.
The Heat installed Ronny Turiaf as the starting center for the first time, a move which the Heat commentators tried to play down as strategic. If that strategy is replace a player with a better player, then yes, it was strategic. Joel Anthony is a good defender for his size, he has long arms and is a particularly effective player in the pick and roll defense and a good shot blocker, but his offensive game is so non existent, the Heat virtually play with 4 players on that end of the court.
I can’t recall seeing a worse finisher nor simply a professional athlete with such terrible hands.
Turiaf was at his energetic best, blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and diving for loose balls. Shane Battier had the play of the night, diving head first to save a deflected ball, giving it to LeBron who embarked on his late scoring spree.
James finished with a season high 41 points on 15/25 shooting, making 10 of his 13 FT attempts. He added 6 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 steals and a block. Mario Chalmers had arguably his best game of the season, nailing 19 revenge riddled points, clearly motivated by Kansas’ loss to Kentucky in the National Championship game the night before.
The Heat’s attention moves immediately to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are in town tomorrow night.
Can you say ‘Revenge Game’?