Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Heat 94, 76ers 73 :Miami Heat rolls past 76ers to take 2-0 lead

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 0 comments


Physical evidence of an arena whipped into a frenzy swirled through AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday night.

Large sections of fans in the upper bowl turned their free white T-shirts into rally towels during the Heat’s 94-73 victory against the Philadelphia 76ers. The result was a flurry of cotton fibers falling like snow from the rafters every time the Heat made an outstanding play.

And there were a lot of them from the Heat on Monday. The atmosphere inside the arena: white-out conditions both on and off the court.

The crowd — clad in all white — was a storm of excitement; the Heat’s defensive effort was a blizzard of domination. Miami allowed just 31 points in the first half, set a playoff record for opponent’s shooting percentage and seemingly turned a once competitive first-round series into an unfair matchup of vastly different teams.

“I think [Monday] was so far our best of the season,” Heat forward Chris Bosh said of his team’s defense. “That’s how we want to play our defense. If they do score we want them to score outside the paint with a hand in their face.”

The Heat held the Sixers to 25.6 percent shooting from the field in the first half, setting a franchise playoff record for opponent’s first-half shooting percentage. Philadelphia managed just 13 points in the first quarter, and its first-half total equaled its offensive output in the first 12 minutes of Game 1.

The Heat now heads to Philadelphia with a 2-0 lead in this best-of-7 series that all of sudden seems like forgone conclusion. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra was already warning of complacency minutes after Monday night’s blowout.

“We don’t have anyone up against the ropes,” Spoelstra said. “An NBA playoff series doesn’t start until someone wins on the road. We have to have an incredible sense of urgency in Game 3 and somehow wipe this out of our minds.”

But Monday’s shellacking will be hard to forget. How good was the Heat’s defense on Monday? The Heat’s Big 3 outscored the 76ers starters 64-29, and Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday led Philadelphia’s starters with four points in the first half. The Sixers shot 20 percent in the first quarter, 30.4 percent in the second quarter and 28.1 percent in the third quarter.

“I think our poor shooting really discouraged us,” Sixers coach Doug Collins said.

After the game, Sixers reserve Thaddeus Young credited Heat reserve Joel Anthony for being “the reason why their defense is so strong.” Anthony played 27 minutes Monday and had four points, six rebounds and three blocks.

“He does a lot that goes unnoticed,” said Young, who led the Sixers with 18 points off the bench.
Fans inside AmericanAirlines Arena certainly noticed. They chanted “MVP!” every time Anthony went to the free-throw line. Fans serenaded Anthony with MVP chants on Saturday, as well. He lived up to the name with 5:09 left in the second quarter when he rejected Young on back-to-back shots, triggering the game’s offensive highlight on the opposite end of the floor.

Anthony’s second block in the sequence led to Mario Chalmers on a fast break and moments later led to LeBron James finishing an amazing one-handed alley-oop to give the Heat a 34-23 lead. The Heat led by 18 points at halftime, and it swelled to 23 points in the third quarter.

James led the Heat with 29 points, shooting 10 of 19 from the field two days after managing just four field goals (his low with the Heat) in Game 1. He added seven rebounds and six assists. Wade, who was a game-time decision due to a lingering migraine headache, had 14 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block in 35 minutes.

“I wasn’t able to eat on Saturday,” said Wade, who missed Sunday’s practice.

Bosh had his second double-double in as many games with 21 points and 11 rebounds. He was 9 of 13 from the field and got the Heat off to a quick start in the first quarter during the team’s 10-3 run to begin the game.

“Our confidence isn’t too high or too low right now,” James said. “We did what we needed to do and that was protect home court.”


0 Responses so far:

Leave a Reply