If this truly was the final visit of Sacramento’s purple and white to Miami, then thank you, Kings. What a game to remember the good times of that organization before likely getting shipped off to Seattle by what appears to be greed and folly.
It took two overtimes, but the Heat defeated the NBA’s lame-duck team 141-129 on Tuesday at AmericanAirlines Arena for its season-high 12th win in a row. Most likely, the Kings will be in Seattle next season as the second coming of the SuperSonics. If so, their last trip to Miami was a memorable one.
Led by 11 points from LeBron James in the second overtime, the Heat outscored Sacramento 17-5 in the final five-minute session. James corralled the Kings’ final shot of game with about four seconds to play and passed the ball across the court to Wade. Theatrically, Wade set the ball on the court and rested his foot atop the sphere. Finally, it was over.
“I couldn’t wait to get to the locker room and get some ice on me,” Wade said.
James finished with 40 points, eight rebounds and 16 assists, and Wade had 39 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in what turned out to be one of the most exciting games in Miami this season. It was the Heat’s first double-overtime game at home and second overall. Miami is 5-1 in overtime games this season.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra called James’ final statistics “video-game numbers.” He had 15 points, four rebounds and five assists in the two overtime periods.
The Heat’s win streak is its longest of the season and only two shy of the team record. For Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, the exciting finish didn’t gloss over an obvious reality of the game. For the first time since a road loss to the Pacers at the beginning of February, the Heat didn’t play well.
“It’s wasn’t until the last four minutes of regulation and overtime before it became a serious ballgame and we were able to respond,” Spoelstra said.
A from-behind block by Dwyane Wade of Marcus Thornton on a breakaway swung momentum in the Heat’s favor in the final overtime period. Moments later, James drained a three-pointer in transition to give the Heat a 131-127 lead. James drilled a 20-footer on the Heat’s next possession, and a dunk by Chris Bosh off a pick-and-roll with James gave Miami a 10-point lead with 1:29 left.
“We’ll take it any way we can get it, but for the most part we know we are able to play a lot better,” Bosh said. “Our standards are a lot different than other teams.”
Bosh had 15 points, including six in the first overtime, to go with eight rebounds. He had a chance to win it with 0.4 seconds left in the first overtime but air-balled a wide-open, midrange shot at the buzzer.
It wasn’t the first opportunity for the Heat to put away the Kings in the first overtime. Just before Bosh’s miss, James air-balled a point-blank layup with 2.1 seconds left. James complained loudly about not getting a call on the play and seemed to ride that frustration into the second overtime, turning it into motivation.
It appeared James was fouled by Kings center DeMarcus Cousins on the play.
“There was a little frustration,” James said. “I felt like I got fouled. I got fouled at the end of the first overtime. The second overtime was when I was able to pick it up and lead us offensively and just kind of take over the game.”
Reserve Marcus Thornton led the Kings with 36 points, going 11 of 18 from the field and 8 of 12 from three-point range. Thornton made his final three-pointer with 3:51 left in the second overtime before Miami pulled away.
The Heat led 112-104 with 1:39 left in regulation but was outscored 8-0 from there to send it into overtime. With his team ahead 112-110 with 19.8 seconds left in regulation, Wade missed a pair of free throws that could have given Miami a two-possession lead. Instead, a layup by Cousins sent to the game into overtime.
Cousins finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds. Tyreke Evans had 26 points, going 11 of 19 from the field.
It was an entertaining game after the Heat’s first-half malaise lifted. Miami shot 55.4 percent from the field overall compared with 51.6 percent for the Kings.
Led by Thornton, the Kings were 14 of 27 from three-point range. Miami countered by going 10 of 23 from long distance. Ray Allen had 21 points and five three-pointers.