The Miami Heat overcame a raucous Salt Lake City crowd and a few relentless Utah Jazz rallies and came away with the 111-98 victory against the vaunted Jazz last night.
It was the team's sixth straight victory after their much ballyhooed loss to the Dallas Mavericks three weeks ago when LeBron James slammed into Erik Spoelstra during a team time-out. The bump sent the media in a tizzy and blew up the YouTubes with repeat viewings of the incident. But since The Most Scrutinized Time-Out in NBA History, Miami has gone on a serious tear that have Heat fans ecstatic, and Heat haters poo-pooing every win.
"Yes, the Heat won. But, can they do it.... WITH RODEO CLOWNS TIED TO THEIR BACKS? Hmmmmm????"
Miami plowed through Washington (but they were without John Wall!) then Detroit (but, it's Detroit!), then beat Cleveland under tough circumstances (but, can they do it against a quality team?!), took down Atlanta (but, without Joe Johnson!) and then slammed Milwaukee (but, it's Detroit
So now it was time to do it against a "quality team." The same team that erased a 22-point deficit against Miami and upset the Heat in overtime at the American Airlines Arena a month ago.
Not a problem. LeBron threw down 33 points, while Dwyane Wade added 28 of his own, as the dynamic duo led the Heat to the 13-point victory.
Miami had several double-digit leads erased by the Jazz throughout the night, with their biggest advantage at one point being up by 12. But the Heat entered the fourth quarter trailing 78-77, evoking memories of last month's fourth quarter collapse. But while the Jazz kept doing their best Walking Dead impression, coming back from double-digit deficits all night and never quite dying, the Heat finally managed to pull away in the fourth, outscoring Utah 34-20 in the final quarter.
Miami hit five three-pointers in the fourth, with a pair coming from Wade while Mario Chalmers and James Jones hit one each from beyond the arc. The Heat also got a huge lift from center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. Big Z recorded his first double-double as a member of the Miami Heat, scoring 16 points and crashing the boards for 10 rebounds.
Utah made one last furious rally, with Deron Williams converting on a 3-point play and bringing the Jazz to within six with four minutes left to play. But the comeback was halted by the Three Kings, when Chris Bosh hit a spinning hook shot, while Wade and James connected on an alley-oop dunk that forced Utah play-by-play man (and Miami Dolphins pre-season play-by-play man) Craig Bolerjack to exclaim, "That is Oh My!"
You bet, Bolerjack!
Just three weeks removed from Bump Gate, the Miami Heat have seemed to put their crap in order. And now that Miami's winning streak has finally come at the expense of a so-called "quality team," we'll wait and see if they can stay hot as the team heads into Golden State on Friday.
We also wait and see what the haters will say now. "Sure the Heat beat the Jazz by 13. But can they do it against ... POLAR BEARS ARMED WITH BAZOOKAS?"