Bam got to work right away as my eyes struggled to adjust to Charlotte’s tournament court. That wasn’t a problem for the Hornets who’d asking four straight threes to spark an early 12-0 run for the Hornets. It was Jimmy who’d lead a quick comeback effort with three consecutive baskets, but still Charlotte kept things just out of reach with its hot three point shooting (the went 6-6). But with Jimmy putting up 11 points in the first quarter alone, Miami remained within striking distance. The Heat struggled to make good looks in the first, similar to last game against the Spurs – but still continued to compete with Kevin Love taking charges, Duncan playing good defense,
Miami was less effective to start the second quarter, taking tougher looks and forcing things – but the tide started to turn when Bam began to attack, and dish out quality assists while Charlotte’s shooting stalled. With Bam feasting, and Duncan getting hot Miami put together a 10-0 lead to take the lead albeit briefly.
While Jaime wasn’t as much as an offensive threat compared to previous games, watching this rookie off-ball is a treat. The way he hunts rebounds is relentless, and he’s constantly in motion. He’s going to be very good.
Highsmith bounced back from his disappointing outing last game, producing great offense and scoring 12 points in the 2nd quarter to put Miami ahead. With Jimmy hitting a near half court bank shot to end the half Miami was firmly in control to start the second half.
Bam continued to score well to start the second, but so did Charlotte as they attempted to chip away at the small lead. Bam was a monster as he feasted on Charlotte’s porous defense, slashing, pulling up in the midrange and bodying his way into the key for easy buckets. With his aggressiveness Miami got ahead by 10.
One of the most fun parts of this team is the veteran presence. With Championship talent littered through the roster, there is excellent playmaking. At one point in the third quarter, Kyle passed to KLove who set up a look to a Jaime alley-oop. This is incredibly difficult to execute on the fly and they make it look so easy – poetry in motion.
The Hornets didn’t go easy, chipping away and making big shots periodically. But with Jimmy getting to the line with ease and JRich making his looks Miami was able to maintain a comfortable lead headed into the dreaded fourth quarter.
Because this is the Miami Heat we’re talking about, our boys from South Florida found themselves in a four point clutch game almost immediately in the fourth quarter. Luckily Duncan and Jaquez Jr. were both balling allowing the Heat to maintain its lead. However any sort of ease dissipated once again around the 8:00 mark, with Charlotte once again cutting the lead to five.
With some outstanding defense by Highsmith and Bam, some big shots by Bam, Duncan and Jaime and Jimmy coming through in the clutch with a dagger for a 32 point game Miami was able to hold on for its sixth straight win. They also advance to 2-0 in the In-Season tournament standings.