Some notes from the Heat’s late game at Golden State Wednesday, and the Marlins’ golf tournament earlier in the day:
### Those who went to bed at a normal hour Wednesday missed a marvelously entertaining game, won by LeBron James’ three-pointer over Andre Iguodola with two-tenths of a second left. That gave the Heat a 111-110 win and sent the Heat to the All-Star break at 37-14, 2 ½ games behind Indiana for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.
James, feeling the healthiest he has in a while, was exemplary, with 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists. Erik Spoelstra let James do his thing in the waning seconds, without calling a timeout, after Stephen Curry’s driving basket and free throw put the Warriors ahead by two with 14.6 seconds left.
“I was going for the win the whole time,” James said of his final shot. “I had to make sure I made it or missed it with no time left. I had to redeem myself for missing a free throw [with 23 seconds left]. Second night of a back-to-back, you’re very tired. You have to suck it up.”
Spoelstra, on the last play: "We wanted to shake free for something easy. We were going to try to probe before they got their defense set. If I had known he was going to work it all the way to the end of the clock, I would have run out there and called a timeout. I was inching to call that timeout, but at that point, it's greatness at its best."
James played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and 42 for the night. “I told Spo, ‘Leave me in.’ I wasn’t coming out.”
### The Warriors had runs of 33-9 and 8-0 in the second half, with the first one erasing a 21-point Heat lead. But Miami survived anyway, thanks to LeBron’s brilliance, a key Mario Chalmers late three, some good work from Chris Bosh (19 points and a late-game block), and contributions from others, including Michael Beasley. (More on him in a minute.)
### Dwyane Wade sat out with a foot injury, and Shane Battier missed time in the first half when he required five stitches over his left eye. "Dwyane's foot became really sore right before the game," Spoelstra said. "He was going to give it a go but didn't have the mobility he wanted."
Wade said his foot went numb before the game and said "the nerve in my leg shut down. Weirdest thing I ever saw. I couldn't feel my foot. The doctor came in and checked it out. The medical term is called 'drop foot.' The nerve was aggravated and shut down. Hopefully, the numbness will wear down."
Wade, who seemed in good spirits after the game Wednesday, said he will travel to New Orleans for the All-Star Game but was non-committal about whether he would play in the game. "I want this to calm down and go back to feeling regular," Wade said. "I'm not optimistic or pessimistic. I just want to get better."
The Heat is listing Wade as day-to-day. Spoelstra said it's unclear how the injury happened before the game.
### Spoelstra used Beasley for the first time in four games, and Beasley made a case for more playing time, closing with 16 points (7 for 11 shooting) and two rebounds in 24 minutes, while playing most of the fourth quarter. The Heat was plus-10 with Beasley on the floor, the best plus/minus of any player. But he also struggled defensively against David Lee.
"He clearly gave us good minutes," Spoelstra said. "That's a credit to Mike for staying ready. It's not easy being a role player on this team. Rotation minutes are tough to find with this group. You have to be a pro, all in. In this type of game, with the way Golden State can score, with Dwyane out, we felt we needed a punch off the bench. That's why we went with Mike."
### Toney Douglas (one point, one assist in 11 minutes) again started in place of Wade, who missed his 15th game.
### A Heat-Warriors Finals would be marvelous theatre, though Golden State remains no better than the fourth- or fifth-most likely Western Conference team to advance to the championship.
### Marlins president/baseball operations Mike Hill was thrilled with two additions in the last week: Carlos Marmol (check out Clark Spencer’s story about him) and Jeff Baker.
“Baker was another one we didn’t expect to be able to sign,” Hill said. “He was a consideration as we went through the third base search, and when we focused on Casey McGehee, we sort of moved onto the next thing. Incredibly versatile player. We know we can play first. We know he can play second, third, outfield. To be able to get him gives [Mike Redmond] the ultimate versatility.”
A Garrett Jones/Baker platoon at first base is a good possibility at some point this season --- considering Jones’ difficulties against lefties and Baker’s success historically against them. But Redmond said he won’t begin the season that way.
“We signed Garrett Jones to play every day and he’s going to be getting that chance,” Redmond said. “But you never know how the season is going to go.”
### It won’t be surprising if Brad Hand, Tom Koehler or Brian Flynn wins the No. 5 rotation job, but the Marlins will give Andrew Heaney a long look. Heaney is rated the top left-handed pitching prospect by MLB.com.
“We are never shy [about going with a prospect] if the person earns it, to give him the job,” Hill said. “If he’s the best pitcher, he’ll be there…. We really haven’t had a lefty in our rotation since Scott Olsen left us. But it’s all about getting people out.”
### Giancarlo Stanton said the recent roster moves makes him believe “we’re going in the right direction. It will be fun to play with the new guys.” Stanton, hoping to rebound from a season that very much disappointed him, said the key is “not worry as much about the results” but instead make sure he’s making “progress every day.”
### Manager Mike Redmond, on his team: “We’re excited about the guys we’ve acquired. We brought in not only good players but great guys that will improve the chemistry, winners.”