The Miami Heat played like the Miami Heat for 43 minutes. And then the Golden State Warriors played like the Golden State Warriors for 5. If you were at the game last night, then you were treated to one of the best games of the year. Down most of the game, the Warriors pulled it out and have proven to us they can now consistently close out games. One or two years ago we would have been on the other side, winning for most of the game and then folding at the end, but not anymore!
The Heat came off a loss to the Portland Trailblazers the night before so I knew they would be hungry for a win, but hopefully a little winded. It sure didn't seem that way for the first half and most of the third. Up by 10 at the half, the Heat cruised through the third and I was worried we were too flat to pull this out. Dwyane Wade has now resurrected to his "Flashy" ways. Scoring 33 point and dishing 10 assists, he controlled most of the game getting to the charity stripe 12 times (making 11 of them). It seemed as though they knew how to control the tempo, and as our shots clanked off the rim they pushed the fast break against us. As the fourth quarter was dwindling down and we were losing by 10 points, we had a couple breaks in our favor. First, Riley kept Shaq out which surprised me. Second, to my surprise we actually hit our free throws and made a world record 86% of them (saracasm folks).
Honestly ... how good is he!
This in turn led to what was an exciting 5 minute end and another opportunity for me to gleefully adore Azubuike. Here is my transcript if you didn't see it:
5:00 remaining: Down by 8 the Heat rebounded a missed Warrior shot and pushed a 2 on 1 fast break. Bukee (as Baron calls him) stood fast and took a charge which turned the momentum to our side and the crowd crazy scale to 8.
4:26 remaining: Down by 5 with a man in his face, Baron pulls up for a 3 and banks it in. Crowd crazy scale = 9.
3:57 remaining:Good ball movement by the Warriors, Baron sees Bukee alone in the corner, dishes him the ball, and he hits a 3 to bring us within 1. Crowd crazy scale = 9.5.
3:16 remaining: Baron with the ball and the shot clock winding down, he banks another 3 to give us a 2 point lead! Crowd crazy scale 10!
2:27 remaining: Pushing a fast break, Bukee makes a gorgeous pass to Monta who elevates over everyone and makes a lay-up as he's fouled hard. Warriors up by 5 and the crowd crazy scale breaks the 10 mark.
1:50 remaining: Bukee makes a great tip in and finishes the night with 13 points, 11 of which came in the fourth.
0:17 remaining: TV camera pans in to Riley's face and it says it all. Game over. I love this team! Crowd still on their feet.
We need to lock him up long term!
Team chemistry. This is why I love this team! You see it in their faces. Guys on the bench are on the court giving high fives the minute a whistle blows. It makes this year so much more enjoyable to watch guys who you want to root for. Baron had a great game to deserve most of the credit but can't I give it to Azubuike?
An Oldie for some of you ...