DETROIT, USA – LeBron James notched his first triple-double of the season to lead the short-handed Miami Heat to a 110-78 NBA rout of the Detroit Pistons on Friday, March 28.
James scored 17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 12 assists for the 37th triple-double of his career but his first of the current campaign.
“He was aggressive,” said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, who rested James in the fourth quarter.
Spoelstra wanted to be sure James got some rest with the Heat facing a quick turnaround for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, and James made it all work out by pulling down his 10th rebound with just under two minutes to play in the third period.
He helped the Heat bounce back in a big way from an 84-83 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday that let the Pacers regain a 3-game lead over the reigning NBA champions in the Eastern Conference standings.
That physical contest between the Eastern Conference powerhouses featured a couple of ejections and saw Miami’s Chris Bosh miss a potential game winner at the buzzer.
On Friday, Heat guards Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers, and center Greg Oden, sat out the contest with various injuries.
Wade, who started Wednesday at Indiana despite a sore Achilles tendon, was out with a hamstring injury.
Chalmers has a bruised quadriceps and Oden was sidelined by back spasms.
Udonis Haslem, who started in place of Oden, scored 17 points and Bosh contributed 15 points and 9 rebounds.
The Heat connected on 54.4 percent of their shots, including 8 of 19 from three-point range.
“What we liked about it was there could have been a lot of excuses,” Spoelstra said. “But it was about a collective response from the other night.”
Meanwhile in Washington, the Pacers couldn’t build on their emotional win over the Heat, falling 91-78 to the Wizards.
John Wall scored 20 points and Marcin Gortat added 17 points and 12 rebounds as Washington led from start to finish. – Rappler.com