LeBron James overcame not having Dwyane Wade by his side, as well as a badly rolled ankle, and dropped 33 points in the Heat's 118-83 jack up of the Indiana Pacers last night.
LBJ also added 13 assists and was two rebounds shy of recording a triple-double on the night. Chris Bosh added 22 points while James Jones went crazy from the three-point line, going 4-for-5 from beyond the arc for 14 points. You so crazy, James Jones!
Miami was without Wade, who was scratched from the lineup with a bruised foot that had relegated him to Bizarro Wade in the last two games after he injured it against Charlotte last week. So he sat out wearing a sharp three-piece suit while he watched his partner in awesome wreck some Pacers ass without him.
The luxury of being obnoxiously filled with talent like the Heat are is what makes this team so much fun (at least for Heat fans. And Sassy Heat Fan Lady!). One All-Star goes down, another pops up, kind of like Wack-A-Mole, except that the moles fly around and dunk in your face all night long. Plus, there's Chris Bosh, who has been quietly hammering teams with his Boshy goodness so far this season.
James, who has been on an absolute tear since the season started Christmas Day, showed Indiana no quarter, attacking the basket, hitting jump shots, crashing the boards, blocking shots, finding teammates on no-look passes, and generally slapping the entire Pacers team in the dick with his entire game.
The Pacers, for their part, came into American Airlines Arena as one of the hotter teams in the East, with only one loss on their record to speak of, and with expectations of making some noise this season.
The Heat did suffer a brief scare late in the third when LeBron stepped on Indiana's Paul George's foot as he went in for a layup. James' left ankle rolled, and he crumpled to the ground, writhing in what looked like some serious pain. The entire Heat watching audience's collective assholes clenched up like a monkey fist as nightmarish visions of TORN LIGAMENT!!! headlines flashed before everyone's eyes. But, a few minutes later, James got up, walked around, and continued to play in the game as if nothing had happened, proving once again that not only is he the best basketball player in the world, but that he may, in fact, be Wolverine.
Indiana kept things close throughout the first quarter with sharp shooting from Roy Hibbert and Paul George, ending the first period trailing only 29-27.
But then the Heat decided that shit needed to get real, and plowed through the second quarter where their defense held Indiana to just 1-for-15 from the field and forcing 10 turnovers. And, as many opponents have learned the hard way, bad shots and turnovers are the perfect ingredients for a little something the Heat love to cook up and serve called Fuck You Up Pie, as they turn teams' offensive screw ups into a kickass transition offense with alley-oops, three pointers, and mass hysteria. Miss a shot or turn the ball over, and the Heat's fast break offense takes the ball from one end of the court to the other with ease, and beats you up in front of your girlfriend. It's just that simple. Miami finished the second quarter on a 25-6 run, going into the half with a 62-39 lead, and never looking back from there.
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Miami travels to Atlanta tonight to try and avenge their first loss of the season from two nights ago. The official word on James' injury is a sprained ankle, and he might be a game-time decision. This could mean the Heat will be without Wade and LeBron. Or, it could mean both will be out there. We'll just have to wait and see. And, hey, in case of emergency, break glass and spray Chris Bosh all over the fire. It's all good.
Tonight's tipoff from Atlanta is at 8 and can be seen on TNT.