Culture of Hoops

Miami Heat Top Sacramento Kings, Improve to 7-4

Image courtesy of Michael Tipton/Flickr.

Image courtesy of Michael Tipton/Flickr.

The Sacramento Kings had lost 13 games in a row at Miami heading into last night’s game. In an attempt to bounce back from the previous game loss to the Atlanta Hawks, the Kings were without its Western Conference player of the week. This was a tough matchup against a deep Miami team with every role player being a perennial all-star after tonight’s offensive explosion.

Amar’e Stoudemire, who usually averages two points on just 12 minutes a game, scored 10 points in the first half on 4-5 shooting. Stoudemire and second-year guard Tyler Johnson were able to combine for 22 points in the first half. They headed into halftime with a comfortable 10 point lead over the Kings.

The Heat never looked back in the second half as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh combined for 47 points. Collecting its 14th straight win at home, as well as the team’s seventh win of the year, the Heat ended up beating the Kings 116-109.

For Sacramento, the Kings couldn’t miss all-star center DeMarcus Cousins much more. Already missing four games this season, the Kings are just 6-33 in the last three years when Cousins doesn’t play. His impact on the game is undeniable and the Kings are often lost without its best player.

To make matters worse, Rudy Gay left the third quarter with a strained shoulder. Playing the Orlando Magic on Saturday, Gay expects to get an MRI in the near future. Noted as precautionary, the Kings have still only played three games this season with a complete roster.

Stepping up tonight in the wake of the missing stars, Ben McLemore had 17 points to go along with Marco Belinelli’s 23. Willie Cauley-Stein also saw extended minutes at the center position and finished 11 points, five boards, and two blocks.

Rajon Rondo had another monster stat line tonight posting 14 points, 18 assists, and 9 boards. “Vintage Rondo” has been on full display in Sacramento recently as he has played extend minutes in the absence of backup point guard, Darren Collison. Rondo’s averaging 14.2 points, 14.2 assists, and 9.8 rebounds in his past five games.

The Kings will look to bounce back from this two-game skid on Saturday as they take on Victor Oladipo and the Orlando Magic. As for the Heat, they play the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.

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