Miami Heat 109, Charlotte Bobcats 98
LeBron James: A
10-19 FG (1-5 3FG), 10-12 FT, 7 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 steals, 1 block, 31 points
After taking a knee to the thigh late in the game, LeBron James took the game over and opened up the lead for the Miami Heat. They didn’t look back. After being down two at halftime, the Heat came out and ran the offense through LeBron in the post. With no Al Jefferson to push him away, it was easy pickens for LeBron.
Chris Bosh: B+
7-12 FG (1-2 3FG), 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 17 points
Bosh was the second fiddle tonight and, again, was a great complement when LeBron took to the post. Bosh only attempted a couple of three-pointers and shot well from mid-range against a small Bobcats lineup. He had 10 of his points in the first half and was a big reason why the Heat were only down one to a fired up Bobcats team at halftime.
3-7 FG (3-6 3FG), 2 rebounds, 1 steals, 9 points
Cole was one guy on a supporting cast that stepped up for the Heat tonight. Cole stands out because he helped open up a four-point lead in the third quarter with six points in the last 3 minutes of the period and 11 points in the entire second half.
Charlotte Bobcats’ Season: B+
2013-14 season: 43-39, 25-16 at home, 18-23 on the road, -0.2 point differential. Swept by Heat in first round of playoffs.
The Bobcats took advantage of a down Eastern Conference, but that shouldn’t overshadow the accomplishments of Steve Clifford and the Cats. With his new toy Al Jefferson, Clifford installed a post-up offense and conservative defense and coached up a team to play patiently. The Bobcats will be the Hornets next season, and they are on the up-and-up.
Miami Heat: B+
39-78 FG (9-24 3FG), 22-29 FT, 33 rebounds to Charlotte’s 36, 25 assists to Charlotte’s 22, 8 turnovers to Charlotte’s 16.
The Heat came out slowly, as they have done this entire series, but used a late run to put down the Cats for good. The Heat settled in to an offense that ran through LeBron in the post and finally got a handle for Kemba Walker on defense. The Heat will be the only team to sweep their first-round series and they will be rewarded with at least five days of rest.