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Incredible Heat numbers off Boston game; UM NCAA Tourney notes, Golden addresses issues

A few eye-opening numbers to emerge from the Heat's 23rd consecutive win, achieved Monday in Boston:

### During this winning streak, Miami has outscored opponents 145 to 75 during clutch time, as defined by the NBA: the final five minutes of a game with a margin of five points or fewer. That covers 49 minutes during this streak. The Heat outscored the Celtics, 11-4, during clutch time on Monday.

### According to ESPN's Stats and Information, an opponent has scored at least 31 points against the Heat nine teams this season. Miami's opponents are 0-9 in those games. Jeff Green scored 43 on Monday.

### LeBron James became the first player to register 37 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds in a game at Boston since Scottie Pippen in 1995. LeBron, of course, had 45 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists in that season-saving Game 6 win in Boston in last year's Eastern Conference Finals.

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Tidbits from Monday’s UM NCAA Tournament news conference, and Al Golden’s first comments after his team's 10-day spring break:

### Jim Larranaga’s team enters the tournament confident, but Julian Gamble insisted there’s so sense of contentment simply from winning the ACC title. UM players wore “Full Speed Ahead” T-shirts this afternoon.

“This team has all the ingredients to win every game it plays. It also has the characteristics to lose any game,” Larranaga said. “…We had the toughest non-conference schedule in the history of the school. We’ve got size, speed, shooting ability, can rebound, defend. We have a very good team.”

### What does UM know about first round opponent Pacific? Gamble Googled them and determined “they’re in California.” (Stockton, specifically). Well, that’s a start.

Fortunately, Larranaga knows a bit more. “They’re a hard nosed defensive team,” he said.

Said Gamble: “We’re not going to take them lightly. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. By no means are we letting up on the accelerator.”

### Keep in mind that two No. 15 seeds knocked off two No. 2 seeds in last year’s tournament. UM enters as the No. 2 seed in the East Regional; Pacific is 15th. If UM is still alive after two games this coming weekend, it would play next Thursday night in Washington D.C. in a Sweet 16 game.

### No UM player has played in an NCAA Tourney game. Gamble was a redshirt freshman on a UM team that made the tournament. Kenny Kadji was a redshirt sophomore on a Gators team that made it.

### Kadji, by the way, said he received an ovation when he walked into his English class this morning.

### Larranaga and UM players appreciated how North Carolina coach Roy Williams waited outside UM’s locker-room after Sunday’s game, then came in and wished UM well. “Roy was very nice, very congenial, very respectful of our team,” he said.

### Larranaga will fly to New York Tuesday to attend the funeral of his high school coach and mentor, Jack Curran. “I loved the man. He was my inspiration to be a coach.”

### Count Digger Phelps among those picking UM to win the title. 

 

GOLDEN NUGGETS

A few tidbits from Golden’s always informative sessions with WQAM’s Joe Rose:

### He said late four-star addition Derrick Griffin, who still must qualify academically, “is a big X receiver, red zone threat like Tommy Streeter was. Maybe he’ll grow into a Jimmy Graham.”

### On Duke Johnson: “I’d be crazy not to give him the ball more.” But he said backups Danny Dillard and Dallas Crawford have looked good through four spring practices.

### He believes “we should be really improved on defense” and ran off a list of 2012 freshmen who have matured or bulked up.

### He said UM “should be much improved” at defensive tackle. “Curtis Porter has been steady and consistent. He has really improved his approach. Olsen Pierre looks so much different.” He said Pierre is probably playing the best of the group, but Luther Robinson also has emerged.

### Receiver Malcolm Lewis, who suffered a dislocated ankle against Georgia Tech last year, likely will cleared for contact in May or June. “It’s a marvel – he’s [already] running routes, catching some ball,” Golden said.

### Of the offensive linemen, Golden said: "You can make the case Ereck Flowers is playing the best of any of them. This is the best stretch Seantrel Henderson has had." And he said he's "pleasantly surprised" by guard Danny Isidora.

### He appreciates that new offensive coordinator James Coley has eased the transition for his players by not changing much the verbiage the team uses. "Really impressed with James Coley and [new tight ends coach] Larry Scott," he said.

### Golden said: "This is the most fun I've had since I've been here.... I feel different about this team."

### UM spring practice resumes Tuesday, with a scrimmage scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at Traz Powell Stadium.

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