Wade Burries Rockets, Lakers Upset Hornets (Video)
Miami’s Big Trio means Dwyane Wade. Having scored 45 points, Wade established his season high as Heat beat Rockets 125-119 at the Toyota Center on Wednesday. Although they managed to claim the first quarter 35-28, the second one saw Heat being overcome 34-24 to start in this way the next half with a three-point advantage.
Wade left the court with a bloody lip, but he wouldn’t pay too much attention to it. “It’s just a part of the game and hard fouls are a part of basketball,” he said. Unfortunately, he had to get stitches at the end of the game. Apart from his 45-point performance, Wade finished with seven rebounds, one assist and two steals, converting 10 free throws of ten attempts.
Miami got back into the lead as the third quarter started. More exactly, the visitors claimed it 29-22 to start the last round with just four points ahead of the Rockets. Heat won even the last period, 37-35 as the Big Trio scored 86 points of Heat’s 125. Chris Bosh added 21, including four rebounds, two assists and two blocks, while LeBron James brought 20 points, along with nine assists, six rebounds and one steal.
On the other side, Aaron Brooks came from the bench to score 20 points, rebound two times and assisting nine. All of this in just 26 minutes. Luis Scola added 22 points for the Rockets, including in the same time five rebounds and one assist. Kevin Martin had 21 points and Chuck Hayes, who finished with 13 points, had eight rebounds, three assists and one steal. Both starter Kyle Lowry and benched Chase Budinger scored 11 points each.
Back to Wade, he became the first player to score 40+ points in straight games since Lakers’ Kobe Bryant managed to score 50+ points in a row on March 2007. Miami are to rebuild the big winning streak they have lost a week ago. The win over Houston was their fourth consecutive one.
Coach Erik Spoelstra must have been very proud to see Wade building his 45-pointer with his lip bleeding. “He was angry after that hit, and he was bleeding. But you could see, after that point, an absolute laser focus and poise, and he didn’t let his anger get the best of him.” Carlo Arroyo converted two three-pointers as Miami finished the meeting with only five such shots of 16. Starter Zydrunas Ilgauskas added seven points and had five rebounds and two blocks.
The victory helps Miami get closer to the top spot. Leaders Bolton Celtics lost 92-104 to Detroit Pistons on Wednesday, but keep the first place with a 24-6 positive record of the season. Heat improved their winning record to 25-9 (12-5 away). As for Houston, they worsened their season-performance to 15-16 (9-5 home). Next, Miami will face Warriors on January 1, while Houston is to face Raptors on December 31.
New Orleans Hornets 88 – 103 Los Angeles Lakers
Following their loss to leaders San Antonio Spurs, Los Angeles got back to normality. Lakers didn’t drop any of the first three quarters on Wednesday to dominate the Hornets at all facets at the New Orleans Arena. After a very tough first period, which the visitors claimed 26-23, Lakers thwarted once unbeaten Hornets 33-18 in the second to start the second half with a comfortable 18-point advantage that became a 23 one after the third quarter. New Orleans got their consolation barely in the last round, the hosts winning it 28-20.
Benched Lamar Odom was among the bright stars of the Lakers constellation. He scored the most points for Phil Jackson’s side, 24, and finished the game with five rebounds and two assists. Pau Gasol had 12 rebounds, five assists and one block, adding 11 points instead. Star Kobe Bryant had a 20-point contribution as he also rebounded three times and assisted four.
There is no doubt Lakers deserved to win the game. “We played much better. We executed much better. Our defense did an excellent job,” said Bryant, who expected his team to leave New Orleans with a clear victory. Andrew Bynum added 18 points, performing also six rebounds and one block. Derek Fisher and Ron Artest scored nine, respectively six points for the visitors. Shannon Brown converted three-pointers which meant all his six points of the day.
Concerning Hornets’ best performances, Chris Paul was the one to have the most solid – but meaningless – contribution. He scored 20 points, plus seven assists, three rebounds and three steals. Emeka Okafor, who added ten points for the hosts, rebounded seven times and assisted once, while starter Marco Belinelli and Jarret Jack scored 15, respectively 12 points.
The victory lays Los Angeles third in the Western Conference with a 22-10 positive record. They are hunted by fourth Oklahoma who are just one loss behind Lakers. New Orleans sit seventh with 18 wins and 14 losses, the defeat to Los Angeles being their second in a row. Minnesota passed them in the same manner on Monday. Lakers are to meet 76ers on Friday, while Hornets are expected to face leaders Eastern leaders, Bolton Celtics.11