Heat vs Kings: A Farewell Performance in Sacramento?
There is such a thing as a bittersweet victory. The sweetness comes in front with the bitterness emerging in hindsight.
The Miami Heat might just have earned one of those victories.
The Heat got their first win of their six-game road trip on Saturday night at Sleep Train Arena against the Sacramento Kings in what could be their last time playing in that city.
Miami wasted no time getting on a roll against the Kings, never giving them a sense that where in the game. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade collaborated in one of the nastiest alle oop plays during their three seasons playing together. After a slow first quarter Chris Bosh got going on offense.
The night for the Heat though belonged to Mario Chalmers.
Seeming hell bent on making up for his missed potential winning shot at Portland on Thursday night, Chalmers came into the game with an aggressive mindset. He finished the night not only scoring a career high 34 points, but also a career high ten three point shots. In doing so he passed former Heat great Dan Majerle for fifth place on the team’s all time three point list and set a Sleep Train Arena record for most three point shots made by an individual opponent.
The lone bright spot for the Kings was Isiah Thomas, who finished the game also scoring 34 points. He continued to play hard when he was on the floor even when the game was out of reach. At one point late in the third quarter Thomas and Chalmers were matching each other three point shot for three point shot.
It was a show for the Heat, maybe because it had to be.
The current situation involving the Kings is a fluid one as reports on January 9 showed the team close to being sold to a group that would move the franchise to Seattle as early as next season. Since then various buyers have emerged that would like to purchase the Kings and keep them in Sacramento with a framework for a new arena already in place.
Should the sale to the Seattle group go through this game would mark the last time the Heat would visit Sacramento.
As the game became an evident blowout Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra decided to give playing time to the team’s two ten-day contract players Josh Harrellson and Jarvis Varnado late in the fourth quarter. Varnado was able to record his first official basket and block as a Heat player while Harrellson missed his lone shot attempt.
The Heat can sign each player to another ten-day contract before deciding to keep either one on the roster for the rest of the season.