Everybody likes to talk about how LeBron James can't get it done in the fourth quarter, that he isn't clutch, that he's a righteous ass-wrecking machine for the first three quarters of games but then inexplicably turns into a little old Chinese woman in the fourth quarter, costing his team games.
But last night, against a pesky and feisty Detroit Pistons, James hit six consecutive free throws in the final minute to help the Heat with the 101-98 win.
Sure, free throws aren't sexy. And free throws won't make any of ESPN's highlight reels. But it's still an effective way to fuck an opponent in the face. And that's what LBJ did to the Pistons. In the fourth quarter. So everyone can shut their pie holes now. At least until the next Heat loss where everyone can get back to shitting all over him for dumb reasons.
The Heat was again without Dwyane Wade for the sixth straight game, as he continued to nurse a sprained ankle. James finished the game with 32 points, with Chris Bosh continuing to make sweet, sweet love to his jumper, hitting his first seven shots and finishing with 27 on the night.
But just as it's been for the past three games, Miami seemed to play down to its inferior competition. Against Detroit, the Heat blew several leads, including a ten-point lead down the stretch, causing Heat fans everywhere to maniacally lose their shit in the process.
Yes, it helps to keep things in perspective, especially in January. But when the Heat allows dudes like Jonas Jerebko to hit timely threes, and when Miami's offense goes from a well-oiled, fast-breaking machine to looking like a bunch of assholes running around the court like they're being chased by a bee, it gets infuriating. This is a team that should be blasting opponents with a bazooka in the face every night. So, yes, excuse the Heat fans in your life when we lose our minds and come to afterward like the Hulk. Our clothes are ripped, there's a crumpled car on top of a tree, and we need to grab our backpack and hitchhike out of town...
But LeBron and his badassery came to the rescue this time, hitting three-pointers at the buzzer in the first half, catching alley-oops from Norris Cole, and attacking the basket like there just ain't a shit to give.
James also got what was probably the sickest assist of the season so far when he hit Mike Miller with a behind-the-back, no-look pass off the inbound pass. It was fucking bananas, man.
But the good times would soon come to a screeching halt when Miami's ten-point lead eventually evaporated to a 98-95 lead for Detroit with just 1:22 remaining.
For his part, James remained aggressive, attacking the hoop and drawing fouls. Detroit had to resort to hacking James, particularly with the game on the line, which was a good strategy for the Pistons since the Heat have been a pile of raccoon dicks when it comes to hitting their free throws lately. But James made his first two crunch-time free throws with ease, cutting the deficit to 98-97. Then, after Detroit's Damien Wilkins lost the ball out of bounds on the next possession, LBJ rocketed towards Austin Daye, who was standing under the Pistons' basket and developing a serious case of drenched crotch as he watched James coming at him like a crazed locomotive. Daye fouled James, and LeBron sank the next two free throws, giving Miami the 99-98 lead.
Then, with nine seconds remaining, James was hacked again, and he drained the final two to put Miami ahead for good.
LBJ finished the night 13-of-14 from the charity stripe, which is a far cry from his 9-for-17 shitbaggery against the L.A. Clippers a couple of weeks ago. The win snapped a three-game losing streak on the road for the Heat, and while their play has not been at its ass-blasting best, Miami is finding ways to win, even with marginal opposing players suddenly morphing into fucking Oscar Robertson when they play Miami. Last night, that honor went to Austin Daye and Greg Monroe).
Meanwhile, Miami waits for D-Wade to return so that balance can be restored, and the dick punching tour can continue.
And we can all rest now that we know LeBron James can hit shots down the stretch when we need him to. Even though the Skip Baylesses of the world will continue to be assholes about it until James wins a ring.
The Heat will host the New York Knicks this Friday. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
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