The Sacramento Kings and Miami Heat entered Tuesday's contest headed in opposite directions. Miami had won seven straight, all by double digits and mostly on the road. Back at home for the second night of a three-game home stand, the Heat faced a Kings team that had lost five straight, including the first four games of their six-stop road trip. To their credit, Sacramento held various leads and kept it competitive most of the way, but when it came down to winnin' time, the Heat ended the affair swiftly and mercilessly, eventually emerging with the 120-108 win.
While the Heat coolly racked up highlights (seriously: this happened within seconds of this), the Kings generated plenty of their own offense. Sacto point-center DeMarcus Cousins was stifled the whole way by Chris Bosh and company, but the rest of the Kings stepped up in his stead. Jason Thompson (16 points on the evening) found the touch in the first quarter, Marcus Thornton (23) got hot in the second, and Tyreke Evans got 3 of his 21 points on this rather remote buzzer-beater. It was cuddly lilliputian Isaiah Thomas, though, that kept Sacramento alive in the second half. Thomas drained five three-pointers in the third quarter alone, scoring 20 points in the period and allowing the Kings to keep pace despite an offensive explosion from Miami.
That offensive explosion was unrelenting, though. Miami got 30 points from Dwyane Wade, another 38 from Chris Bosh and LeBron James combined, and their very own three-point outburst to match Thomas's. Mario Chalmers (or, as the Miami announcers so gratingly call him, "Rio". That doesn't even fit the cadence of his name pronunciation, guys.) did Isaiah one better, drilling six shots from downtown, including three in that firefight of a third quarter.
Eventually, the Heat brushed aside those plucky Kings, took a double-digit lead, and ran their lights-out shooting percentage up to 56 percent on the evening. Sacramento went zone for long stretches, and the Heat capitalized by hitting 10 of 23 three-pointers. (The Kings, incidentally, sank 13 of 27, so perhaps there was just something in the Gatorade).
Miami's seventh straight win moved them to 26-7 overall while the Kings fell to 10-22 heading into the final game of their road trip in Washington tomorrow night. They'll be looking to avoid the East Coast sweep in that one.