Mar 4, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) shoots during the first quarter as Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley (2) defends at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Heat Loss to Rockets an Encouraging One

We saw something important tonight.

Something that not only marks the point of the season we are in, but also something that marks the true spirit of the Miami Heat.

We saw some fight.

A lot of it, actually.

Sure, the Heat lost to the Rockets on a night when the Indiana Pacers lost too. If Miami would have won, they would have been a game closer to a top seed that they also are fighting for.

Many assume Miami rolls over, coasts through the regular season and relies on its raw talent to achieve a floor-level second seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Some assume Miami has conceded the No. 1 seed.

But that isn’t how this team works.

Not in February, at least.

On a night when Miami couldn’t hit a shot (47.5 percent from the field, a dismal 25.9 percent from three) and Houston shooting significantly better (51.3 percent and a respectable 34.8 percent from three), the Heat were still within one basket at the very end.

They had to work hard for every basket, what with Dwight Howard guarding the lane and the defense tightening around the middle because, again, the three-pointer just wasn’t falling.

Brick after brick, Miami put up. But they didn’t give up.

They wanted this one.

Am I romanticizing a regular-season loss? Somewhat. But seeing this team fight when the stars weren’t aligning is a refreshing sight.

Something, I expect, we will see a lot more of.

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