Heat 122, Kings 103

Miami Heat outclasses competition, tops Sacramento Kings

 

Chris Bosh had 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 20, and LeBron James sat during the fourth quarter as Miami outclassed Sacramento.

 
Miami Heat forward LeBron James dunks against Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore during the first quarter of their game at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Dec. 20, 2013.
Miami Heat forward LeBron James dunks against Sacramento Kings guard Ben McLemore during the first quarter of their game at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Dec. 20, 2013.
David Santiago / Staff Photo

Heat wave

The Heat has won 18 consecutive games against Western Conference opponents. According to Elias, it is the second-longest streak by an Eastern Conference team in NBA history:

Team Dates Wins
Celtics2/11/73-11/23/7320
Heat 1/6/13-Present 18
Celtics11/7/07-2/10/0816
Celtics2/26/84-1/6/8516
Bullets2/24/74-12/7/7416
Bucks11/24/84-2/27/8515
76ers11/27/82-2/3/8315


jgoodman@MiamiHerald.com

Benchmarks for a poorly defended game against the Heat:

• Ray Allen dunked twice.

• Chris Bosh nearly matched his minutes with points.

• A flirtation with the century mark in points before the fourth quarter.

• Five players with at least five assists.

• A shooting percentage that nearly set a franchise record.

• Seventy points in the paint. Yes, 70.

All of these things happened on Friday in the Heat’s 122-103 victory against the Sacramento Kings, which offered the defending back-to-back champions one of the most loosely defended efforts they have faced since, well, since it blew out the Utah Jazz two games prior.

Most teams in the NBA play the Heat (20-6) with the respect the best team in the league deserves. Clearly, Utah and Sacramento are in different places than that this season.

Sandwiched this week between the best team in the East were two games for the Heat against the two worst teams in the Western Conference. The Heat set a franchise record for shooting percentage (63.4) against the Jazz on Monday and, after testing itself defensively against the Pacers, Miami shot 61.4 percent against the Kings.

At point in the third quarter, before the starters were pulled, the Heat was shooting close to 65 percent.

“Just taking care of business,” said Dwyane Wade, who had 20 points. “[The Kings] have so much talent, they’ve got so many guys drafted in the top 10, very good players. We knew eventually that we’d have to keep wearing the game, keep wearing on them and, eventually, hopefully, pull away.”

Consider this: Sacramento shot 58.1 percent and lost by 19 points. The Heat led 98-82 after the third quarter.

“From a coaches standpoint, it left a lot to be desired defensively, but certainly for the fans and certainly for the guys, they enjoyed it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I don’t have that many problems or complaints offensively. It was great pace and great energy.”

Great pace was Allen, who is 38 years old, driving the length of the court for running dunk. It was the first multiple-dunk game for Allen since Feb. 10, 2011.

Great energy is LeBron James leaping to the rafters with a defender in his way and giving the sports world its fix of freakish athleticism for the night.

James’ dunk on rookie Ben McLemore might go down as one of the most photogenic of his career.

“Ninety percent of the players are able to step up and be in position to take that charge,” Spoelstra said. “There is that top percentile that can go over the top of that. LeBron is that top percentile.”

Heat reserve James Jones joked after the game with Norris Cole that McLemore was stuck “between a rock and a hard place” once he committed to take the charge.

On Allen’s dunks, Wade joked after the game that the lane “only opens that wide” for the Heat’s reserve shooting guard.

“They were both surprising,” Spoelstra said of Allen’s high-wire acts. “The lane parted and opened up and he can still dunk. He dunks in practice when he has opening, but it was good to see because I didn’t know whether to be concerned or not from his soreness from the last couple of days.”

Allen finished with 18 points off the bench, going 8 of 13 from the field and 2 of 6 from three-point range.

Shane Battier used the game to break out of a shooting slump dating back to the Heat’s first game against the Pacers. He was 3 of 7 from three-point range for nine points.

“I won’t have to go home and flog myself tonight,” Battier said.

Bosh had 25 points in 26 minutes, going 11 of 16 from the field to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. James had 18 points and went 8 of 11 from the field. He also had eight assists and six rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins led the Kings with 27 points. McLemore had 20.

Read more Miami Heat stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE - In this Jan. 17, 2014, file photo, then-Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng looks on against the Denver Nuggets in the fourth quarter of the Cavaliers' 117-109 victory in an NBA basketball game in Denver. Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. Ferry apologized Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, for “repeating comments that were gathered from numerous sources” about Deng.

    Miami Heat

    More comments besmirching new Miami Heat forward Luol Deng

    Days after it was revealed that Atlanta Hawks general manager Danny Ferry made racially charged comments about new Heat forward Luol Deng before Deng became a free agent this summer, additional comments made by Ferry about Deng came to light Thursday.

  •  
FILE - In this Dec. 22, 2011, file photo, Atlanta Hawks co-owners Michael Gearon Jr., left, and Bruce Levenson talk prior to the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game at Philips Arena in Atlanta. Hawks general manager Danny Ferry has been disciplined by CEO Steve Koonin for making racially charged comments about Luol Deng when the team pursued the free agent this year. The team did not provide any details of the discipline.

    Hawks discipline GM Ferry for racist comments

    The Atlanta Hawks are sticking with general manager Danny Ferry even though the team's new majority owner wants him fired for racially charged comments about Luol Deng.

  •  
Shaquille O'Neal stopped by Doral City Hall Wednesday to say hello to the city council before sitting down with the police department. O’neal applied to be a reserve officer and is undergoing a background check.

    Doral

    Shaq wants to attack crime in Doral

    Former Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal applied to be a reserve police officer for the city of Doral on Wednesday.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category