The first half was an ooh-and-aah factory, thanks to Dwyane Wade's lofty lobs and LeBron's sky-scraping throwdowns. With Mario Chalmers still sore from his hand injury, LeBron did his part to facilitate the offense. Aside from the slams and dimes, LeBron didn't assert himself as much as usual, but he can afford to do that against the Wizards.
The second quarter was Wade's quarter again, anchored by a beautiful behind-the-back dribble into a 360 layup and incredible feeds to LeBron. For the second consecutive game, Wade was brilliant on the offensive end, attacking the basket relentlessly and keeping ill-advised shots to a minimum. Wade gave the Washington crowd its money's worth.
Welcome back, Mr. Bosh. After averaging just 12 points over his past six games, Bosh got back to business from the opening tip. The Heat made sure he got touches early and often, which had to cheer him up. Going against JaVale McGee frequently, Bosh wasn't fazed at all. The putback in the fourth quarter was the highest he's gotten in weeks it seems.
If this marks Shane Battier's debut in the Heat Reaction report, he certainly earned his place. Battier snapped out of his season-long "slump," drilling three of his six attempts from downtown and tallying a season-high 15 points. It might not always look flashy, but Battier finally got the results he's been looking for. His plus-23 plus-minus certainly wasn't misleading.
In order to have a chance in this one, the Wizards needed something close to a perfect performance, but they simply couldn't match the bench performance from the Heat. JaVale McGee and Trevor Booker had big nights in the paint, but the Wizards couldn't capitalize (see what I did there?) from downtown.