Sans Wade or Bosh, LeBron James and Mike Miller Lead Heat, Snap Losing Streak
Dwayne Wade was forced to sit out thanks to a migraine, while Chris Bosh sat out his second-straight game with a bum left ankle. And so LeBron James was left to the mercy of having to rely on Mario Chalmers and Carlos Arroyo for support if the Miami Heat was going to snap their longest losing streak of the season. And LeBron knew this all too well, saying 90 minutes before tip-off:
"My mindset goes to back when I was in Cleveland, not having a superstar alongside of me, not having a dominant player alongside of me. That takes nothing away from my teammates at all. It's just the facts."
Translation: LeBron James knows his team is basically a giant box of ass without Wade and Bosh in the lineup. And so he knew it would be on him to bust the four-game skid and get things back in order. But help came in the form of Mike Miller, who was decidedly unshitty in Saturday night's 120-103 win over the Toronto Raptors.
Before the game: No Wade? No Bosh? Ah fuck!
During the game: Mike Miller! Fuck yea!
After a prolonged slump since returning from a thumb injury, Mike Miller decided that it was enough already with all the sucking, and turned in his breakout game in a Heat uniform. We'd been waiting all season for Mike Miller to emerge and go all Mike Millery on the opposition, and having Wade and Bosh sitting out was just what it took to get him going. Miller scored 32 points on the night -- 22 of them in the second quarter.
Those 22 second quarter points is a franchise record for most points scored by a Heat player in a second quarter. It's a random, ambiguous record -- like saying you're the first person in your family to ever win free tickets to Disney World once you sit through a four-hour timeshare presentation. But still. It's something. And with the current struggles the Heat had been suffering, it's cause for celebration.
LeBron led all scorers with 38 and 11 rebounds, while James Jones added 15 and Eddie House contributed 13. The Raptors were never really a threat, save for when they cut the lead to seven late in the fourth quarter. But Chalmers (THAT'S RIGHT!) hit his third three-pointer of the night, giving Miami the ten-point lead with 5:20 remaining. Toronto never threatened again after that, and the Heat went on to end the losing streak.
The Heat have another extended break before they visit the Knicks on Thursday. Wade and Bosh should be good to go by then. And now that Miller seems to have found his stroke, the Heat could find its way back to Blowing People's Shit Up Mode, which is exactly where they were before this pesky losing streak struck.
But the biggest story of the night is that we finally got the game from Mike Miller we've been waiting for, as he helped a Wade-less and Bosh-less Heat snap its four-game losing streak, giving karma a well deserved dick punch for good measure. Take that, karma!