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Miami Heat get ugly win over Charlotte Bobcats, 77-71; Cats fall to 7th spot in Eastern Conference playoff race

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The Charlotte Bobcats lost a slugfest to the Miami Heat, 77-71. Both teams played tough defense, and since both have issues scoring to begin with, the high-octane defense resulted in a rough game with lots of missed shots.

Even Dwyane Wade struggled, shooting 6-18 from the field and only getting to the line for 4 free throw attempts.

The loss pushes the Cats to 35-34, and they now occupy the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference, a 1/2 game ahead of the Toronto Raptors, who are 34-34 after defeating the New Jersey Nets.

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Game thread comments, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.

GAME THREAD COMMENTS

PanthersFTW -- Whenever you can be part of a list including immortals like Daequan Cook, you have to do it.

Ourdaywillcome -- That call was so easy a caveman could've called it.

BAD

-- The Bobcats shot 21-72 for the game. That's 29%. Ouch. Stephen Jackson was a prime contributor to the suck, shooting 4-21. He managed 18 points, thanks to 10-10 from the free throw line, but that doesn't make up for all the lost possessions, and everyone played a part in that. In fact, the Cats went more than 13 minutes over the 3rd and 4th quarters without scoring a field goal.

-- (Not really a "bad" game, but it wasn't exactly good, either.) The weird part about Gerald Wallace is that even though he plays a dynamic style and explodes to the rim on both offense and defense, and even though he barrels down the court like a locomotive on the break, his great games always seem quiet, and his crappy and mediocre games always seem quiet. He doesn't have the right kind of attention-getting flash that other stars in the league have. So even though he was merely adequate, with 15 points on 4-12 shooting (thanks to 7-8 from the free throw line), with "only" 8 rebounds, it didn't stick out the way Jax's games do.

-- Bad for the Bobcats, exhilarating for basketball fans in general: Dwyane Wade had 5 blocks, and the Heat had 13 blocks total.

GOOD

-- Tyson Chandler looked more like his old self, scoring only 4 points, but grabbing 11 rebounds and playing his typically strong defense over 33 minutes.

-- Boris Diaw couldn't shoot at all tonight (no one could), shooting 5-15 from the field for 12 points, but he did pull down 9 rebounds, doing dirty work in a game requiring everyone to get down and especially dirty. Yes, I've graded Boris and Gerald on a curve, because Gerald has set a higher bar for himself.

-- The Cats' free throw shooting kept them in the game. The Heat weren't great shakes on offense, though the Cats were worse, so Charlotte needed to hold Miami to only 20 free throw attempts while going 27-34 from the line, themselves, just to make the game interesting in the end.

-- About that Miami offense, the Heat shot 36% from the field for the game, and 25% from three, even though Quentin Richardson went 50% from three on 6-12 shooting all by himself.