Question: When the Miami Heat win a game, do they get a pizza party with bottomless soda afterward? If so, the Pepsi is flowing like wine right now in the AmericanAirlines Arena home locker room. LeBron and his little playmates shook the monkey tonight, holding off Kobe Bryant and the Lakers to snap a five-game skid with a 94-88 win.
Dwyane Wade scored eight of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and stripped Bryant to feed James for a breakaway dunk to make it 90-88 with 1:27 remaining, effectively putting an end to Crygate, at least for one night. Hey, you never know with kids, especially with the way the Chris Bosh’s emotions have been running wild the past couple weeks. Bosh, by the way, led the Heat with 24 points and nine rebounds in the wake of his complaints about his usage, and LeBron chipped in 17 points, eight boards and nine assists.
For all the talk of Miami’s crunch time struggles, it was actually Bryant’s choking act in the final few minutes that handed the Heat this one. A couple possessions after the turnover leading to James’ dunk, Kobe coughed another one up under the basket and heaved the game away with a 30-foot attempt with Miami up 92-88 with 20 clicks left. In all, Bryant scored 24 points, but did it on 8-of-21 shooting and added just two rebounds and two assists in 40 minutes.
Either way, order is restored in Heatland. Erik Spoelstra’s job is safe, Bosh made it through the night without taking a ball off the face and Wade can rejoice in the rest of the world hating its life because Miami is winning again. Until it has to face Boston again, at least.