Huffpost Sports

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Lead Heat To 96-82 Win Over Bobcats

Posted: Updated:
HEAT BOBCATS
Getty

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — LeBron James scored 38 points, Dwyane Wade added 31 and the Miami Heat dominated the second half to beat the short-handed Charlotte Bobcats 96-82 on Monday night for their 11th straight road win.

Playing for the first time against Paul Silas, his first NBA coach in Cleveland, James scored 26 of his points in the second half and added nine rebounds. Wade grabbed 11 boards in Miami's 18th win in 19 games.

Charlotte played without starting forward Gerald Wallace (ankle) and center Nazr Mohammed (knee) the same day tests revealed backup big man DeSagana Diop is lost for the season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

With Kwame Brown the only healthy center, the Bobcats fell apart offensively, missing 18 straight shots bridging the second and third quarters.

Stephen Jackson scored 22 points and D.J. Augustin added 16 for the Bobcats, who shot 38 percent from the field with 15 turnovers.

It was a day of awards for the Heat, with James and Wade sharing the Eastern Conference player of the month award, Wade named the East's player of the week and Erik Spoelstra picking up the coach of the month honor.

After worrying before the game that his players might get complacent amid their hot streak, Spoelstra had some concerns early in his 200th game on the bench.

Charlotte, one of the league's worst offensive teams, shot 63 percent in the first quarter behind Jackson's 12 points. The Bobcats led by seven in the second and went up 41-35 on Gerald Henderson's hoop with 4:05 left.

But Miami clamped down defensively and by the time the Bobcats got another shot to fall – Augustin's 3-pointer with 5:30 left in the third – Miami led 61-51.

James later made four straight shots as the lead ballooned to 78-59 heading into the fourth.

After the Bobcats cut the deficit to 80-69, James beat the shot clock by swishing a 30-footer along the left baseline while double teamed. He then stole a pass and went in for a reverse dunk on the next possession and Miami had locked up matching the second-longest road winning streak in franchise history.

James, whose Cavaliers lost here twice last season, revealed before the game players refer to themselves as the "Heatles" as they played in front of a rare sellout crowd in Charlotte.

"Off of the Beatles," James said. "Every time we take our show on the road, we bring a great crowd out."

This time, James took out his former coach, whom he credited for "learning how to be a professional on and off the court" as a rookie and second-year player in Cleveland.

Silas, who dropped to 2-2 since replacing the fired Larry Brown, had little to work with against a dominant team on a roll as owner Michael Jordan watched courtside.

Wallace was back on the shelf after playing in two games following a five-game absence for a sprained left ankle. The 2010 All-Star, who also has a bone bruise, aggravated the injury in practice on Sunday and Silas said he'll be out "a few games."

Mohammed was scratched about an hour before the game with a bruised right knee, and the Bobcats were outrebounded 46-35 in their second straight loss.

Joel Anthony had 11 rebounds in Miami's sixth straight win to help offset an off night from Chris Bosh, who had 11 points and four rebounds on 4-of-9 shooting.

Notes: James on Spoelstra winning coach of the month honors: "Everybody was talking about him being on the hot seat in November to being coach of the month in December. It's kind of funny." ... Silas, fired by the Cavaliers in 2005, defended James from the criticism for announcing his free-agent decision on national TV. "I've been on buses where the general manager gets on the bus and tells a player he's traded. They don't him know ahead of time," Silas said. "Why should (James) let people know? He did what he wanted to do and he had that right. He gave the Cavaliers seven great years."

From Our Partners