The Miami Heat knocked off the Los Angeles Lakers Thursday night due in no large part to a pair of players maligned in recent days for their lackluster play.
Chris Bosh scored 24 with 9 rebounds while Mike Miller added 12 points and 7 boards coming off the bench. Bosh called for more opportunities to score in the paint after Tuesday's loss to Portland, and he got just that. Miller went 0-of-5 from the field against Portland, but found his stroke Thursday, hitting 2-of-3 from three-point range.
Perhaps most impressive about the victory was the fact that stars LeBron James and Dwyane Wade struggled, combining to shoot 16-of-40 from the field. However, the two finished strong, scoring the Heat's final 8 points.
Once again for the Heat the game came down to the last minute. This time, though, it was the defending champions who wilted under pressure, missing their final 7 shots after tying the game at 88 with 2:20 remaining.
The Heat held LA to 40.0% shooting, well below their 46.7% season average. On the other end, Miami's point guards, Mario Chalmers and Mike Bibby combined for 5 three-pointers, taking advantage of open looks created by Wade and James.
Miami came into the evening with only one win in 10 tries against the NBA's top 5 teams - against the Lakers on Christmas Day. Thursday's victory will do little to quiet the Heat's doubters, but at least Heat fans can get a break from all the "Crygate" chatter for a day or two.
There might be a new controversy on the way, though. Rapper Lil' Wayne is planning to make a Heat dis song, according to multiple reports. For a guy so concerned with receiving acknowledgement from James and Wade, he sure does reach out to them in surprising ways.
David Hill is a Miami native and former owner of a youth replica Rony Seikaly jersey.