Brooklyn Nets 88, Miami Heat 87
LeBron James: A
9-16 FG, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, 29 points
On a night when the Heat struggled to get anything going consistently, LeBron was the offense. Whether he was creating for others, playing decoy or muscling his way to the rim, LeBron was the catalyst for most everything on offense. This game served as a cruel reminder of just how much the Heat’s bench has been struggling, but also of how valuable LeBron is (MVP?).
Chris Bosh: C+
5-13 FG (0-4 3FG), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 blocks 12 points
Bosh had his moments, like a hustle play to tip it in with 4:15 left in the game to give the Heat a three-point lead, but it would have been nice to see it for the entire game. Also, this is the second game in a row that Bosh went 0-4 from beyond the arc. Big Shot Bosh is starting to force it, and it has become an issue.
As poor as the Heat played, they should have had a chance to win it at the free-throw line. LeBron James got fouled twice on the last play of the game—first on a slap to the chest and arm by Joe “JJ” Johnson, and second on a hack my Mason “Plums” Plumlee. I’m not one to blame the refs, but that loss was on the refs.
Miami Heat: C+
With his strong performance, LeBron swayed the curve of the class. Without LeBron’s A-performance, the rest of the Heat gets a D-plus. Only two others players scored more than seven points and no one other than LeBron scored more than 12. The King led the team in assists and rebounds too. Bonus stat: LeBron shot 14 free throws while the rest of the team attempted five. FIVE! I rest my case.