MIAMI (AP) – Dwyane Wade saw LeBron James was on the move and unguarded, so he lobbed the ball toward the rim and waited for the predictable outcome.
The alley-oop looked easy, just like everything else after halftime for the Miami Heat. James scored 32 points, Wade added 22 points and eight assists and the Heat trailed by 11 early in the second half before running away to a 107-88 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
That alley-oop was one of the first salvos in what turned into a 59-26 run by the two-time defending champions. “We’re an old team, man,” Wade said. “It takes us a while sometimes to get the juices flowing. Playing against a lot of young teams, they come in loose, ready. We’ve got to get our body going a little bit.”
Chris Andersen was 7 for 7 from the field and scored 15 points. Chris Bosh added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Heat (27-8). Wade added eight rebounds for Miami, which got 11 points from Ray Allen. “We were able to turn the game around pretty fast,” James said.
Anthony Davis led the Pelicans with 22 points and 12 rebounds, most of his numbers coming in the first half. Eric Gordon scored 15 and Tyreke Evans added 13 for New Orleans (15-18).
“Give them credit. They came out in the third quarter and stepped up the pressure,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “They made a lot of tough shots but our guys, as a whole, we’ve got to grow up and understand that when you have a [good] half against a team, they’re going to come out and attack and put pressure.”
“I was encouraged by the second half,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s a very talented team and in the first half we couldn’t quite figure it out defensively.”