The Heat is on. On the street. Inside your head. On every beat. Caught up in the action, the Bobcats were looking out for LeBron James and company on Sunday night, but they were unable to slow down the Miami force of nature that blew through them like a 1985 saxophone riff. True to their M.O., Miami kept the foreplay up deep in the second half, allowing the Bobcats to stay within 5 points as late as 7:30 into the third quarter. But that’s when the necking and heavy petting ended, and James delivered money shot after money shot, as the Heat straddled the 3rd and 4th quarters with a 26-5 scoring orgy that climaxed in a 32-point blowout, 109-77.
Along the way, the Bobcats set the unofficial record for most NBA game recaps featuring the word “drought”; sometimes I can’t tell if I’m reading about the Bobcats or Sudan. “Once they got settled in, started making plays,” said guard Gerald Henderson afterward, “They got back into the game and we also went on a long drought where we couldn’t score the ball.” Particularly parched were Byron Mullens (2-of-8 overall, 1-of-5 from 3-point range) and Ben Gordon (0-of-7 overall, 0 (obviously)-of-3 from 3-point range). Overall the Cats generated a shooting percentage so tiny (33.7%) that Rick Moranis accidentally ate it with his Cheerios. Without a large, mobile, athletic big (or even one of the above), the Bobcats were forced to work the ball around the horn and hoist up a comical 25 3-pointers. “We ran into some dry spells and we settled for way too many 3s,” coach Mike Dunlap said. “At the end of the game we had 25, and that’s not who we are.”