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James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats, 99-88, in Game 1

Heat Cruise Past Bobcats In Game 1


BY TIM REYNOLDS
AP BASKETBALL WRITER

MIAMI (AP) -- LeBron James scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and the Miami Heat used a late charge to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 99-88 on Sunday in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.

Chris Bosh scored 13 points and James Jones had 12 for the Heat. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday.

Kemba Walker scored 20 points for the Bobcats, who led by nine early and led again in the third. Al Jefferson missed eight of his final 13 shots after getting hurt in the first quarter. He finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who got 17 from Gary Neal and 15 from Josh McRoberts.

Miami sealed it with an 18-4 run in the fourth, all but three of those points coming with James getting a rest.

Luke Ridnour made a high-arcing baseline jumper with 10:29 left to get Charlotte within 74-69 before Jones answered with a 3-pointer to put Miami up by eight.

That's when James got a breather. He returned to tons of breathing room.

Chris Andersen had a tip-in for a 12-point lead, Wade made a 3-pointer as the shot clock was winding down with 6:50 left to make it 85-70, and another score by Andersen pushed the margin to 17.

With that, Game 1 was secure. And just for good measure, James drilled a 3 on his first possession after checking back in, putting Miami up 20.

It was a solid first step for the two-time defending champions, who lost 14 of their final 25 games and earned only the No. 2 seed in the East. But James said before the game that the Heat felt like the season was starting anew, and that the playoffs were what matter most.

So far, so good.

Charlotte's opening lineup had four players making their first playoff starts - three of them seeing their first playoff action. It was also the first national-television appearance this season for the Bobcats, who seemed anything but overwhelmed by the moment.

Before long, they had a nine-point lead behind Jefferson, who made his first four shots.

But he limped to the bench late in the first quarter, tugged his left shoe off and began rubbing his heel before wobbling toward the Charlotte locker room. The team said he was bothered by a left plantar fascia strain - the pain of which sometimes forced him to resort to one-legged jumpers and generally limping wherever he went.

Still, Charlotte led by six midway through the second when the Heat embarked on what became a 19-2 run.

Miami scored the first 12 in that stretch, and the Heat got a surprise boost as well. Little-used James Jones came off the bench to score four more late, and the Heat suddenly were up 47-36.

Walker made a 3-pointer to beat the first-half buzzer, drawing Charlotte within 49-42. That started an 11-0 answer by the Bobcats, who scored the first eight of the third quarter to reclaim a one-point lead.

And the third stayed close, neither team leading by more than three for the majority of the third. But a quick 7-2 Heat spurt - including a nifty drive by Jones, who had exactly three two-pointers in the entire regular season - gave Miami a 66-61 cushion late in the period.

James made a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds left, and it was 72-65 entering the fourth.

NOTES: With his final point, James passed Larry Bird for No. 8 on the league's all-time playoff scoring list. ... Miami is 61-8 over the last three seasons when making at least 10 3-pointers. ... Charlotte was returning home after the game, taking advantage of the long break before Game 2. ... This is the first Heat-Bobcats playoff matchup, but Miami and Charlotte - the Hornets - met in 2001. Charlotte swept that series 3-0, including a pair of 26-point wins at Miami.

LeBron, Heat Pull Away


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beverlyamy1 April 21 2014 at 7:04 AM

i smell another championship..............

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beverlyamy1 April 21 2014 at 7:10 AM

hate on haters.lmao.

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twalsh4440 April 21 2014 at 8:15 AM

Lebron GREATEST EVER too bad Michael Jordan

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2 replies
David S. twalsh4440 April 21 2014 at 8:38 AM

Not yet.....

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Frank twalsh4440 April 21 2014 at 10:12 AM

I guess you are too young to have seen Jordan. There are about 5 others that were better too. Maybe some day he will earn is face on a mountain, but not yet.

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ae12wrangell April 21 2014 at 10:32 AM

Wow! They have a commanding lead 1 game to none. They will definately win, or not.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
GEORGE April 21 2014 at 10:37 AM

Winning by 11 points is sqeaking by the Bobcats?

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eagle6922 April 21 2014 at 10:44 AM

If Miami sweeps the Bobcats........Miami will have a three....peat......Good Luck .......D-Wade......James.....Bosh......and of course the Bird Man

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bdgrizcp April 20 2014 at 9:16 PM

Getting the #2 seed was a smart move, but the Heat have to win decisively in this round or the nay-sayers will be all over them. Breathing a moderate sigh of relief. Is it just me or do the Heat play best with only 2 of the big three are on the court?

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1 reply
Hoagie58 bdgrizcp April 20 2014 at 9:28 PM

It's not just you. You're completely right. No court in the world could bear the weight of those three monstrous egos on the floor, at the same time.

It may not be the Bobcats, but I will be thrilled when the Heat get their bit of karma, for tanking games, like the biatches they are.

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bbowens8 April 21 2014 at 1:11 AM

Wade misses most of the season and then shows up for the play-offs.

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 bbowens8 April 21 2014 at 7:05 AM

they were saving him for when it counts.

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wcannon46 April 20 2014 at 9:57 PM

Time for my Heat to start their run for 3, go Heat go! I was an many days past a Laker fan but all that Kobe childish play, and i'm the man stuff just got too much for me. Liveing down here in South Florida I had to realize that there is more to life than LA anything, that's where the Lakers miss the boat, hollywood is more like bollywood now days. And Shaq is much better on TV than he ever was trying to let Kobe's ego run everything. Jerry Buss was always the man to run things, sorry to say he's not there anymore, they miss him. (forgot to mention Phil) Good luck with the Nicks...... you'll sure need it....... go Heat!

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coverme.quick April 20 2014 at 11:22 PM

LeBRon still a ballhog that's bull ****

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2 replies
beverlyamy1 coverme.quick April 21 2014 at 7:06 AM

a ballhog with 2 rings.

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eagle6922 coverme.quick April 21 2014 at 10:50 AM

D-Wade 3 rings......James 2 rings........Bosh 2 rings.........'Nough said......Haslem.........3 Rings........

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