It was the other guys minus Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg … in their place was the Miami Heat’s supporting crew.
No King James and no D-Wade (left sprained ankle and left foot contusion), however the Heat managed to tough-out a win in triple-overtime against the Atlanta Hawks today. LeBron tested his foot injury out in shootaround prior to the game but it was decided to sit out the game.
For the Heat they were playing on a back-to-back and hitting the court for the fourth time in five nights and lining up against a Hawks line-up they defeated four days earlier.
The 116-109 win according to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra was an “exercise in absolute endurance in mental and physical toughness.”
Playing in front of a sell-out crowd of 18,371 and without the two stars, Miami looked to Bosh, Haslem, Battier and Chalmers to step up.
The ‘other guys’ didn’t disappoint and more importantly they will take a great deal of confidence from the victory.
This wasn’t just a thrilling game to watch because it went into triple. It was how the Heat won that made this game interesting.
Down by three points with just six-tenths of a second remaining on the clock in the fourth quarter, F Chris Bosh hit a big three from the right side of the court sending the game into OT. Bosh finished with 33 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, and two steals and two blocked shots. Bosh came up big.
With 22.5 seconds left in the second period of OT, Joe Johnson received the inbound pass with Battier playing defense. Scores at 109 apiece. The benches were on their feet. The crowd were on their feet. Six point three seconds to go … Smith goes left and blows by Battier … blocked shot. That’s why Pat Riley signed Battier, for that defensive stoppage he provides. Battier said post-game that “I knew it was going to be an iso” and “I was just trying to get a finger on the ball and I timed it well.”
The contributions continued for the Heat with Mario Chalmers (29 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and a block), rookies Terrel Harris (nine points, 14 rebounds including seven offensive boards and four assists) and Norris Cole (nine points and five assists) plus a double-double from the heart of the team, Udonis Haslem.
Miami dominated the final period of OT. The Heat shutout the Hawks putting up seven points to nil going two of six from the field compared to zero from seven attempts, one from two outside the three point line compared to zero from three, and pulling down seven rebounds to four.
To put it frankly, Atlanta ran out of gas. Hawks coach Larry Drew summed it up like this, “There was a total, total mental letdown” adding “I didn’t see the sense of urgency I saw in Miami.”