No, not that Big Three. DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas combined for 75 points Friday night as the Kings stunned the Heat in overtime, 108-103. It was the Kings’ first win over Miami since a 120-109 win in Sacramento on March 2, 2008, and snapped a streak of 10 consecutive wins for the Heat in the series.
It didn’t look like it was going to be anything but another easy win for the Heat in the early going. The teams played a week ago in Miami, with the Heat getting a 122-103 victory, and they burst out of the chute to a 23-6 lead with 4:45 to go in the first quarter and led 32-19 at the end of the period.
Coach Michael Malone, who called out his team’s defensive effort after a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night, had to like what he saw in the second half from Sacramento. After trailing 55-45 at the half, the Kings held Miami to just 34 points in the second half. The Heat shot just 33.3 percent (12-for-36) in the third and fourth quarters and the Kings were able to overcome 14 turnovers in the two periods.
Miami hurt itself badly with missed free throws in the fourth quarter. Leading 89-85 with 1:45 to go, Mario Chalmers missed a pair for the Heat. Then Chalmers was directly responsible for Sacramento tying it up.
Chris Bosh blocked a Thomas 3-point attempt late in the shot clock, but Chalmers body-checked Cousins while scrambling for the loose ball. The foul was ruled a flagrant 1, giving Sacramento two free throws and possession.
Cousins hit the free throws to make it 89-87 and Gay, who scored 20 of his 26 points after halftime, drilled a 14-foot turnaround jumper to tie it at 89-89. Gay then harassed LeBron James into mishandling a pass from Michael Beasley at the other end for a turnover.
Thomas missed a jumper with 20.9 seconds left, but Gay defended James well on the other end. James wound up settling for a contested 3-pointer that just grazed the front of the rim and the game went to overtime.
It was all Kings from there. Gay drilled a 3-pointer and Thomas hit a pull-up jumper to put the Kings up 94-89 and they led by as many as eight in the extra session before James went a little crazy in the final minute, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to get the Heat back to within three. But that was as close as it would get.
James led the Heat—who played without Ray Allen, Chris Andersen and Dwyane Wade—with 33 points, but 19 of those were in the first half. James also had eight rebounds and eight assists. Bosh finished with 18 points and three blocked shots, Norris Cole scored 13 points and Chalmers had 11 points and 10 assists.
Cousins led the Kings with 27 points, 17 rebounds and five assists, while Gay had 26 points and Thomas finished with 22 points and 11 assists. Jason Thompson also knocked down 10 points.
Sacramento dominated on the boards against the worst rebounding team in the NBA, grabbing 51 rebounds to 35 for the Heat, and enjoyed a 1-2 edge on second-chance points.
The Kings (9-19) will close out the 2013 portion of their schedule in Texas, beginning Sunday with a 4 p.m. Pacific tipoff at San Antonio, and a New Year’s Eve tilt in Houston.