Last year’s runner ups in the playoffs, Miami Heat, tipped off their opening night of the season without Lebron James by beating the Washington Wizards 107-95. The game was very intense unlike the score line with 16 lead changes and 16 times the scoreline being tied between the two teams.
Bosh stars for Heat
For Miami the top scorer was Chris Bosh who scored 26 points and grabbed 15 rebounds along with Dwayne Wade adding 21 points and Norris Cole who was picked as the starting point guard for the Heat over Mario Chalmers scored 23 points. Luol Deng who was acquired from the Cleveland Cavilers finished with 12 points on his debut for the Miami Heat.
The Washington Wizards had made an interesting addition to their line up by acquiring playoff veteran Paul Pierce from the Brooklyn Nets. Paul Pierce finished with 17 points for the night. Although the scoring leaders for the Wizards were Marcin Gortat and Drew Gooden with 18 points apiece. John Wall the franchise player for the Washington Wizards finished with 16 points and 11 assists.
Heat’s victory due to rebounds won
The Miami Heat won the game by out rebounding the Wizards (44-36) and out scoring the Wizards 35-25 in the fourth quarter. Although it can be noted that the Wizards were the third best team in defending the fourth quarter last season by allowing just 43% field conversion where as the Heat made 62 % of their shots in the fourth quarter.
The turning point in the game came when Dwayne Wade limped off the court to the locker room towards the end of the third quarter. Till this point, he was 4 of 11 from the field and with almost six minutes left in the fourth quarter he returned and went, 4 of 5 from the field.
The other turning point in the game was when, Otto Porter made two jump shots which cut short the lead of Miami Heat to one point but, Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole each put a 3-point shot away to help the Heat win the game. The Washtington Wizards after this game go on the road to play against Orlando Magic on Thursday and the Heat will be playing Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday.Published 30 Oct 2014, 11:45 IST