LeBron James had an exceptional all-around game -- doesn't he always? -- scoring 19 points on 13 attempts, grabbing 8 rebounds, and passing out 9 assists. Dwyane Wade was a rebounding and passing demon, too, but he couldn't quite get going offensively, scoring 22 points on 20 attempts, to go with his 12 boards and 10 assists. For the Cats, Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson faced the challenge and acquitted themselves beautifully, scoring 25 points, each.
What's probably most amazing about the game was that the Cats' often-sluggish offense was absolutely killer against the Heat's often-stellar defense. Despite going a little cold in the fourth quarter, Charlotte ended up shooting 47% from the field and 45% from three. They played about as well as could be expected on offense, but, unfortunately, Miami hit the gas and shot 55% from the field and 47% from three, themselves.
If there was any regrettable aspect of the game, it's that Tyrus Thomas was unable to play. Though Gerald Henderson did a solid job guarding Wade in crunch time, playing TT big minutes against Chris Bosh probably would have made the Cats a little more competitive.
Game thread comment, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
griffter10 -- Methinks Wallace doesn't like James. He always brings his A-game when he plays him.
-- With D.J. Augustin shooting only 1-6, it would have been nice if Shaun Livingston could have contributed more. Since the Heat play with a point forward a good deal of the time, it's less and less important for the Cats to have a "true" point on the floor, since they can also roll with Stephen Jackson or Boris Diaw initiating the offense. However, Liv only played 3 1/2 minutes, didn't take a shot, and had 1 assist.
-- At several points throughout the game, Wallace was clearly outplaying LeBron, and ended up with 25 points on 19 attempts, and 10 rebounds.
-- Jax harassed LeBron in crunch time, and showed some monster swag in an attempt to stand up to LeBron's affected indifference. Jackson ended with 25 points on 17 attempts, 5 assists, 2 steals, and only 2 turnovers.
-- Henderson looked like he belonged tonight, frustrating Wade after Jax switched to covering LeBron, and hitting 6-10 field goal attempts for 14 points. Even though he probably won't ever be entrusted with initiating offense, and it's unlikely he'll ever have a reliable three-point shot even when wide open, if he plays good defense and runs the wing like he's done the past few weeks, he'll have a real career in the NBA.