MIAMI (CBS4) – From getting humiliated by 30 points to humiliating the same team by 30 points, so has been the Miami Heat’s last few weeks. The Heat went to San Antonio around a week ago and were totally destroyed by the Spurs. So, the Heat decided to return the favor Monday night at the AmericanAirlines Arena.
Chris Bosh scored 30 points and pulled down 12 rebounds while Dwyane Wade scored 29 to help lead the Heat to a 110-80 victory over the Spurs, the top team in the Western Conference.
“It’s huge for us, really, just getting even with this team,” Bosh said. “They beat us pretty good and I’m happy that we were able to respond by playing a complete game tonight. But at the same time, it is just one game.”
While Bosh and Wade were torching the Spurs, LeBron James contributed 21 points, but dished out eight assists and six rebounds for the Heat. The Big Three have led the Heat to three straight victories, including victories over two of the best teams in the Western Conference.
The Heat’s victory Monday night also pulled the team within two games of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, the Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. But, more importantly, the Heat’s victory looked like the team was finally starting to turn the corner towards the playoffs after a losing streak had many questioning the team’s ability to win the big game.’
“Sometimes when you suffer the results that we were, and you have this extreme noise from outside, that can be a distraction only if you let it,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But in terms of the guys’ confidence, it never really wavered. This is a very confident group. But the consistency that we’ve had the last three games is something we can build on.”
Tony Parker scored 18 points and Tim Duncan added 14 for the Spurs, who had won 15 of their last 18 against Miami. Before Monday, San Antonio’s worst loss of the season had been a 96-72 defeat in New Orleans.
And this one was decisive in more than the scoring column: Miami outrebounded the Spurs 47-33 and shot 54 percent to San Antonio’s 38.
“We made a lot of shots in San Antonio and they made a lot of shots here,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, whose team endured its third-lowest scoring total and fifth-worst shooting effort of the season. “What goes around comes around.”
According to STATS LLC, it’s just the second time in NBA history that a two-game series had both clubs winning once by 30 or more. The other occurrence came last season, when Dallas beat New York by 50 at Madison Square Garden, then lost at home to the Knicks by 34 nearly two months later.
“We were in attack mode,” James said. “We were in attack all night.”
Add this to San Antonio’s 123-101 loss in Orlando on Dec. 23, and the Spurs’ two trips to the Sunshine State this season were losses by a combined 52 points.
Mario Chalmers scored 11 for Miami. Manu Ginobili finished with 12 and Antonio McDyess scored 10 for the Spurs.
“They needed the game more than us,” Ginobili said. “They were more upset than us and they are a great team. We are not playing against a second-division team in Asia. We are talking about the Heat.”
When the teams met a week and a half ago, it was over after one quarter. San Antonio ran out to a 36-12 lead, making eight 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, on the way to a franchise-record 17 connections from beyond the arc.
Funny how things even out: In Miami, the Spurs could get very little from outside the paint to fall. They finished 6 for 22 on 3’s.
San Antonio shot just 6 for 25 from the perimeter in the first half, 1 for 9 in the second quarter, and the Heat held the Spurs to their fourth-lowest output in the first 24 minutes of a game this season. The Heat lead was 49-39 at the break, with Bosh and Wade combining for 31 points and 12 rebounds along the way.
Meanwhile, take away Duncan and McDyess — a combined 9 for 13 in the half — and the Spurs were downright abysmal offensively. Combined, their teammates shot 9 for 33 in the opening two quarters.
“They definitely had a lot of energy,” Parker said of the Heat. “But overall, they just played better than us.”
The Spurs got some things going in the third, particularly Parker, who hit 5 of 6 shots and scored 14 in the period.
But the outcome was never in doubt. Wade found James for a dunk with 10:14 remaining, then gave a joyous shout heading back to the other end. He had a more prolonged scream 17 seconds later after stealing the ball away from Steve Novak and going in for a dunk of his own that pushed the Miami edge to 87-67.
Wade is averaging 28.5 points in two games since winning a lengthy custody fight for his two sons on Friday, and even James noted that the 2006 NBA finals MVP has a newfound spring in his step.
“A lot of good things are happening,” Wade said.
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