LeBron James exploded for 38 points and Dwyane Wade added 31 as the Miami Heat stomped the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night 96-82. The Heat are now 27-9, just a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Miami led by just four at halftime, but the Heat's big three -- the Heatles, if you will -- collaborated to crack open the game in the third quarter. In that period, Wade scored eight points, James scored 17 and Chris Bosh tallied four and the rest of the Heat (that being Joel Anthony) added two points. That's pretty much the story of the Heat: rely on the three stars to score score score. It usually works.
Gerald Wallace missed the game for the Bobcats, and second-year wing Gerald Henderson slid into the starting five in his place. Henderson, a Duke product, scored just six points on 3-9 shooting and was a game-worst -20 on the floor. He played sparingly under from Charlotte coach Larry Brown, having been eclipsed by veteran defender Dominic McGuire in the rotation this season. But new Bobcats coach Paul Silas, possibly at the direction of the team management that drafted Henderson, has shown more faith in the young two-guard, as Gerald as played at least 22 minutes in three of the first four games of Silas' tenure. Henderson hadn't played that many minutes in any game under Brown this season.
The Bobcats defended the three-point line well, as the Heat shot just 5-15 from beyond the arc. Miami's designated shooters hit just 2-7 from downtown. But Charlotte couldn't capitalize by shooting well anywhere.