Wade, James take turns squashing Hornets; Mavs win streak over

LeBron James, Dime #48

The haters are running out of reasons to throw rocks at the Heat. Last night’s blowout of the Hornets — a team that has W’s over Dallas, San Antonio and Miami already on its resume — provided an answer to just about every criticism that’s been levied against D-Wade, LeBron and Bosh‘s crew … You say Wade and ‘Bron can’t play together? While Wade dominated the second quarter, scoring 20 of his 32 points, LeBron owned the third, scoring 13 of his 20 as Miami turned a one-point halftime deficit into a seven-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Bosh (23 pts, 11 rebs) hit the first two buckets of the fourth to push the lead to double-digits, and the Heat never looked back on their way to a ninth straight win … You say Miami can’t handle teams with a good point guard and center? Chris Paul was held to 11 points and 5 assists, while Emeka Okafor — who dominated the Heat in that November matchup — settled for 9 points and 6 boards. (Though to be fair, Dave West was getting BUCKETS for the first three quarters, finishing with 32 points.) … You say Miami can’t defend the paint? They had 9 blocked shots last night, with Bosh and Big Z swatting three apiece, and Erick Dampier sending N.O. rookie Quincy Pondexter‘s dunk attempt back to the quad … During his first-half scoring binge, Wade was on a breakaway when Jarrett Jack fouled him hard from behind. Wade got up glaring at Jack like he’s been in a fight before — and Jack walked away. Miami’s play-by-play guy said, “Wade is checking the license plate of the Jack that hit him.” Whatever that means … The Heat announcers kept calling Marco Belinelli, “Belly-Nelly,” with too much stress on the “Belly.” There’s a Boris Diaw joke in there somewhere … During LeBron’s third-quarter barrage, he hit one shot when he drove right, was falling out of bounds along the baseline, and turned to high-arc a jumper from behind the backboard, over and in. Maybe the shot of the year on a degree-of-difficulty scale … Monty Williams is still new to this coaching thing, so hopefully he’ll learn something when he watches the third quarter on film and realizes he played a big chunk of it with Jack, Willie Green, Pondexter, Jason Smith and Aaron Gray on the court. If Kyrie Irving was healthy, we could see Duke’s starting five giving those guys a run …

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