Gerald Wallace could bottle up LeBron for only so long. After sitting out the first matchup between these teams, Wallace put LeBron in a straitjacket, holding him scoreless in the first quarter. Then LeBron started doing LeBron things. Dwyane Wade stole the show Saturday, but only LeBron can have a quiet near-double-double.
Wade's demise has been greatly exaggerated. Early on, it looked as if he was playing inside a bowl of soup again, but once Erik Spoelstra got T'd up defending a Wade drive in the second quarter, he morphed into vintage Wade. We haven't seen Wade blitz through a defense for weeks, but he was sensational. An alley-oop dunk on Kris Humphries capped a brilliant outing.
Brook Lopez sat out with foot problems, but that didn't necessarily make Bosh's night any easier. Going against a rejuvenated Andray Blatche, Bosh didn't collect his first rebound until after halftime and looked timid against Brooklyn's front line. He did manage to block Humphries' dunk attempt, one of the rare times Bosh looked like a 6-foot-11 center.
As always, a left corner 3 closed the door. Allen's 3-pointer with two minutes left put the Heat up 12, and that was it. While jawing with Keith Bogans all night, Allen delivered his usual one-way excellence. He looked helpless on defense, frantically fouling his opponent after blow-bys and generally looking like a traffic cone, but offensively, it was another strong outing.
Who needs Lopez when you have Blatche? For a while, it looked as if Blatche and the Nets were poised to take down the Heat on their home floor, but the Wade and James show put an end to that. The Nets were without their star 7-footer, so this one shouldn't hurt too badly. In two games against the defending champs, the Nets have lost by a total of 43 points. Yikes.