Chris Bosh led all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-16 shooting to accompany 11 rebounds and two steals in less than 32 minutes. When you watch SportsCenter highlights tomorrow, you won’t hear a word about it.
Because even though Bosh was the key to the Miami Heat’s 117-104 victory, LeBron James is setting NBA records that haven’t been touched in over three decades. By scoring 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, LeBron became the first player in NBA history to record at least 30 points with at least 60 percent shooting in six consecutive games. He scored five of those 30 points in a decisive fourth quarter, one where his two dunks provided the scoring necessary to put away the unyielding Portland Trail Blazers.
James threw down a mean dunk on Sasha Pavlovic to break a 99-all tie with 4:56 left to spark the run. After Wesley Matthews made his third improbable three-pointer of the night to give Portland back the lead, Wade would give the Heat the lead for good on a difficult Eurostep floater over LaMarcus Aldridge.
Wade had 12 points entering the fourth quarter and struggled for most of the night. He ended with 24 points after another excellent fourth frame, leading the Heat to a 31-22 advantage to seal the deal in a game of runs. Miami started the game on a 14-5 run only to see the Trail Blazers open up a 57-44 lead with 4:48 remaining in the second. The Heat made a run to cut it to a one-point Portland lead at the half.
The Heat would then open up a 14-point lead in the third, but saw that lead evaporate to four by the start of the fourth. Portland built up a 95-90 lead with 8:16 remaining but saw that met with a 5-o run created by Wade and James.
After Portland took a 102-101 lead, the Heat ended the game on a 16-2 run. Wade had four points in the run; Ray Allen and Mario Chalmers each hit a three-pointer to stretch the Miami lead. LeBron scored his 30th point on a fastbreak dunk with 2:38 remaining.
A Joel Freeland layup with 1:35 left represented two of the Blazers’ five points in the final five minutes. Although the Trail Blazers converted 53 percent of their shots and saw Damian Lillard go off for 33 points on 18 shots, they failed to come through on either end of the floor when it counted. The Blazers received 22 points from everyone who wasn’t Lillard, Matthews and LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Heat got 14 points from Ray Allen, who came in struggling and hadn’t had a double-digit scoring output since January 27th. He also hit three of his six three-point attempts. Shane Battier also dropped in an identical 3-of-6 from the perimeter. Three of Mario Chalmers’ five points came on a dagger three-pointer that gave the Heat a nine-point lead with 2:59 left.
Unfortunately, the Heat lost Udonis Haslem to a leg injury in the first quarter. He was limited to 8:37 worth of playing time. There’s been no word on the extent of his injury.
Miami stretches their winning streak to six and have a date with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday. All-Star weekend begins Friday.