Game Notes: Heat at Rockets
Agent D3 to the rescue.
by Maurice Bobb / @reesereport
With Yao completely out of the equation and Battier not being able to contain both LeBron and Wade, my money is on the Heat extending to four. Starting five for Houston: Shane Battier, Chuck Hayes, Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and Luis Scola, who, incidentally, is ballllllin’ (Jim Jones’ voice).
First on the floor for Miami: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Dwyane Wade and Carlos Arroyo. Don’t worry, I will refrain from any kind of “Le” prefixes when referring to The King this evening because, let’s face it, it’s worn the eff out and, really, when was it ever funny?
There aren’t very many subplots in this game, save for the brief pipedream held by Rockets’ GM Daryl Morey that he could sign Bosh this past summer. At 15-15, Houston is at least at .500, which is quite the feat considering the heartbreak of losing Yao for the entire season and Aaron Brooks going down early this season.
Brooks is back and Scola is really making a case for a coach vote-in for the All-Star Game. Martin has All-Star numbers with 23.4 ppg but somehow, he continues to fly under the radar in the L. I haven’t seen Terrence Williams play for the Rockets yet, but I’m hoping he brings some much-needed scoring punch and defense to the squad.
As for Miami, they really seem to be on a roll. Everyone, me included, made much ado about nothing when they struggled early on, but as they’ve shown of late, they are a real threat to come out of the East.
Quick sidebar: As the Heat took the floor for pre-game warm-ups, the crowd rained down boos like it was doing its best Cleveland impersonation. It was short lived, though, because they cheered when LBJ punched the rim for a dunk during the layup drills. SMDH….
Also, ran into Calvin Murphy in the press area. Look for the “Old School” article on him in the new issue dropping in a few days. Very candid interview…
Wow. I’ve been to plenty of games where they tell you afterward that it was a sellout and I didn’t feel like it was one, but in this game the stands are packed to the gills. Fire Marshall may have to make an appearance tonight.
Miami wins the tip. Bosh hits the first attempt on a banker from 12 feet. Heat up 2-0.
Big Z bricks an 18-footer. Wade hits a layup. Heat up 4-0 with 10:50 left.
Scola first on the scoreboard for the Rockets with a short J. 4-2 Heat.
Bron airballs a three and crowd loves it.
Wade hits from the FT line. Heat up 6-2 with 9:26 left.
Scola hits on fast break layup, but Big Z answers on the other end. Carlos Arroyo gets in on the action with a three ball from the corner pocket. Heat up 11-5.
Rockets seem out of sync on O. James comes down and nails a long jumper for his first two points. 13-5 Heat with 7:35 left.
Scola sneaks his way in for two. Has six points already.
Hayes gets a bucket on goal tending call. 13-9 Heat.
Battier hits a three-pointer from corner and the Rockets close the gap to 13-12 with 6:20 left.
Brooks checks in at 6:14 mark. Hears it from the crowd.
Hayes steals the ball from Bosh and takes it coast to coast for the layin. Is it just me or did he lose some weight? Score tied at 15 with 5:16 left.
Bosh gets fouled by Hayes while working the block. Hits both FTs. Heat ties it up at 17 with 4:58 left.
Martin uses trickery to get Wade to foul him on a shot attempt, but he only connects on the second. Rockets go up 18-17.
Brooks makes a nice move to the cup for two. Rockets up 20-19 with 4:14 left to go.
Arroyo shoots a technical FT to tie it up at 20.
Scola puts Rockets back on top 22-20 with 3:51 left.
Brooks makes another strong move to the hoop for two. Rockets up 24-22
Scola with a baseline J for two. He has 10 already. Rockets up 26-22 with 2:38 left to go.
James scores his second basket.
Wade gets a super shooter’s bounce for three. Heat up 29-26 with 1:26 left.
LBJ makes a nice move to the basket to close out the quarter. Heat up 35-28 to end period.
Lineups remain altered for the start of the second. No starter is on the court save for Bosh. Hill starts things off with a dunk. 35-30 Heat.
Budinger for three. Heat up 35-33 with 11:04 left.
Brooks connects on a layup. He has 6 off the bench so far. 37-35 heat with 10:15 left.
Hill ties it at 37 all with a two-handed stuff.
Hakeem gets a standing O when shown on the “Star Cam” during timeout. One of the greatest to ever play the game period.
Lee smokes a wide-open layup and Bosh nails 15-footer on the other end. Heat up 42-37 with 8:21 left.
James has 6 assists already.
Brooks gets ball back and hits a short jumper for two. Heat up 42-41 with 7:30 left.
Budinger goes for dunk but has to settle for a layup. Rockets up 43-42 with 6:52 left.
Budinger for three. He has 8 of f the bench.
Brooks has 12. Rockets up 48-44 with 5:40 left.
Rockets bench playing extremely well tonight. Brooks has 12, Budinger has 8 and Hill has 4. Heat bench largely non-existent at this point.
Miller to the line for two. Hits both. Rockets up 50-46 with 5:11 left.
Martin back on the floor. He’s been quiet thus far with only three points.
Wade with a strong move to the cup for two. 52-50 Rockets.
Wade with the and one on the other end. Heat up 53-52 with 2:55 left.
Battier for the hook shot. Heat up 55-54 with 1:40 left.
Hayes to the line for two. Hits both to take 56-55 lead with 1:16 left.
James to the line for two. Hits both. Has 10 points and 7 assists. Heat up 57-56.
Martin with a crafty left layup and Scola follows suit with a nifty two himself. He has 12. Rockets up 60-57 with 24 ticks left.
Martin streaks to the other end with a two-handed dunk to put Rockets up 62-59 at the half.