It's not often that a 33-point night (on 14-18 shooting) from Dwyane Wade is over-shadowed, but LeBron James once again stole the show at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Miami steamrolled to their 10th consecutive win behind James – almost blasé – triple-double. The Heat forward finished with 16-points (7-12 from the field), 11 assists and 10 rebounds in front of a Philly crowd which had just as many cheers for James as it did jeers.
The crowd was especially vocal in letting James know that Spencer Hawes stuffed one of his shots late in the first quarter, but it did not deter the Heat player.
James set the tone from the outset, distributing the ball and looking to set his teammates up. The 76ers kept it close on the back of some hot shooting from guard Nick Young who was perfect in his five field goal attempts for 12 points in the opening term.
As the game wore on, and the 76ers were worn down, James began to assert himself further. Driving hard to the basket – creating his own shot, or rifling off a cross-court pass to one of Miami's many open shooters on the corner pockets. "I get more pleasure out of kicking the ball than scoring," James said about passing out of double-team coverage.
After the game head coach Erick Spoelstra praised James' influence on the game, which rubbed off on the rest of the team.
''It was a professional win,'' Spoelstra said. ''LeBron started it with his unselfishness, finding the open guy, making it contagious. Then it was an efficient shooting night.''
The Heat shot 58.4% from the field – only Ray Allen shot sub .500 for the night.
James continued to wow the sell-out crowd (one of the few sellouts this season at Wells Fargo) until he finally went to the bench for good with 10:15 left in the final quarter, but not before registering his triple-double which it appeared he would reach before the end of third quarter. After the game James, who has been close to a triple-double on a number of occasions this season, joked that he wasn't going to leave the game until he got the final rebound he needed.
''I was going to stay out there until I got it,'' James said. ''I wasn't going to let this one slip away. I've had too many games where I was one assist, one rebound away. I wasn't coming out.''
Image via: Michael Perez / AP