LeBron James put his hand up in the air, as the sold-out home crowd chanted M-V-P! With 2 games left, the final regular season finale in Miami actually put the nail in Houston’s coffin. James poured another MVP stat line: 32 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks, and a steal. The Heat down the Rockets 97-88.
“It’s very humbling, honestly,” James said. “The fans have been amazing this year and they’re going to continue to be amazing going into the postseason. … It’s humbling.”
“I think LeBron is having a historic season,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh watched another game on the sidelines, as did Mario Chalmers with the flu.
Rookie Norris Cole overcame his recent struggles, he started the game and finished with a 16-point, 4 rebound effort. Mike Miller and Joel Anthony each had 11 points and 6 boards. Shane Battier chipped in with 9, but stole the ball 5 times. Udonis Haslem played his unsung hero role, cleaning the glass for 11 boards and getting 3 blocks.
Houston can still finish at, or above .500, but they fall short of the postseason 3 years in a row now. It wasn’t because of effort, because rookie Chandler Parsons scored a career-high 23 points, while grabbing 6 boards and 4 steals. The back court of Gordon Dragic and Courtney Lee combined for 30 points, while Luis Scola and Patrick Patterson went for 26 and 11 rebounds.
The Heat won the battle on the boards and turn their attention to Boston on Tuesday, with a slight shot at catching Chicago for the top seed.