With the way Lebron James dominated the Warriors in the third quarter alone, you would have thought the Warriors were on his doo doo list of offenders that had criticized his “decision.” In consecutive possessions, Lebron nailed 3 contested 3-pointers and made an and-1 while falling over with Vladimir Radmanovic hanging off one arm, like a small-monkey swinging along a large tree-branch.
Lebron’s 12 point outburst was just a snippet of why the Heat have the best attendance on the road in the whole league at 99%. And it showed why this team took a 3 point lead at the end of the first into a 106-84 butt-kicking. The decisive third quarter saw the Warriors forced into double-teams, forced into deep 2s and 3-pointers with the shot-clock expiring, and forcing the Warriors into shooting 38% from the field. But Warrior fans were also witness to the incredible displays of jaw-dropping athleticism from Dwyane Wade and Lebron, lobbing alley-oops to each other that Heat and Warrior fans alike had to respect.
Oddly, the Warriors finally met a team that was their “equal” in the Miami Heat. By “equal” I mean they battle a team that committed as many fouls as they did and shot just as poorly as they did from the line. I expected the Warriors to foul in desperation in order to stop the Heat. But the Heat’s 27 fast break points clearly showed how fast they moved that the Warriors couldn’t even foul them if they wanted to.
But that’s probably where all the similarities end.
Lebron sat out the fourth quarter, finishing with 25 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. Dwyane Wade finished with an statistically incredible night: 34 points, 7 assists, and 9 rebounds. Bosh finished with 16 points and 4 steals.
Monta Ellis led the Warriors with 20 points and 7 assists. Dorell Wright finished with a double-double (12 points and 10 boards), but shot 4-15 from the field. Wright missed all 6 attempts from the field in the second half.
With 2.45 in the fourth and the game well out of reach, Ekpe Udoh entered the game and made is first shot attempt. A drop step baby hook over his left shoulder. Sadly, most fans had already cleared out, missing their rookie’s first bucket in the NBA.