Every on-court move from LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh has been intensely scrutinized this season. A single poor game has led to questions about team chemistry and the wisdom of having three stars wear the same uniform.
A good night has resulted in declarations that Miami has finally figured things out and is sure to represent the East in the NBA Finals. But on some nights, the Heat’s three stars have justified all of the expectations, attention and hype they’ve dealt with this season.
Sunday was one of those nights, as James, Wade and Bosh combined for 94 points and 33 rebounds in the Miami Heat’s 125-119 win over the Houston Rockets. Each member of the big three posted at least 30 points -- the first time they’ve all scored 30 in the same game this season -- and added 10 or more rebounds.
The Elias Sports Bureau tells us it's only the second time in NBA history three teammates have each had 30 points and 10 rebounds in a non-overtime game. The Heat join the 1960-61 Cincinnati Royals trio of Oscar Robertson, Wayne Embry and Jack Twyman. On February 3, 1961, Embry led the Royals with 37 points as Twyman added 32 and Robertson, a 22-year-old rookie out of Cincinnati, scored 31.
Unbelievably, the Royals lost that game by one to the Philadelphia Warriors. Cincinnati had no answer for Wilt Chamberlain, who set a Boston Garden record with 52 points. (The game was the first of a doubleheader. The Boston Celtics beat the New York Knicks in the main event.)
Elsewhere in the NBA on Sunday:
• With a 99-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers and the loss by the Rockets the Oklahoma City Thunder clinched a playoff berth for the second straight season. It’s the first time the franchise has reached the playoffs in consecutive years since the Seattle SuperSonics reached the postseason every year from 1991 to 1998.
Won 15 of 1st 16 Games After Break
Since 1st NBA All-Star Game (1951)
• The Los Angeles Lakers used 30 points from Kobe Bryant to improve to a league-best 15-1 since the All-Star Break. Since the first NBA All-Star Game in 1951, the Lakers are just the fifth team to win at least 15 of its first 16 games coming out of the All-Star Break.
They’re the first since the Lakers rolled to 16 straight wins after the 2000 All-Star Game. That team went on to beat the Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals, giving a 21-year-old Kobe Bryant his first championship ring.
• The San Antonio Spurs lost a season-high third straight game and may have lost Manu Ginobili for Monday’s game against the Trail Blazers after he missed much of the second half with a left quadriceps contusion. Over the last five seasons, the Spurs have won more than 70 percent of their games with Ginobili (242-99) but just 55 percent without him (33-27).