MIAMI — For a playoff opener, it certainly had the feel of a Miami Heat-Charlotte Bobcats regular-season game.
LeBron James scored 27 points and Dwyane Wade added 23 to lead the Heat past Charlotte 99-88 on Sunday in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs first-round series. It was Miami’s 17th consecutive victory against the Bobcats counting the regular season.
In a surprise, James Jones played 14:11 and contributed 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting. James had played just 20 games during the season.
Wade also had five assists and, more importantly for Miami, looked very healthy in 34 minutes.
Miami also was aided by Charlotte center Al Jefferson (18 points, 10 rebounds) apparently suffering a strained plantar fascia in the first quarter. He played 35:18 but was not the same after the injury.
The Heat, who had trouble protecting the basketball down the stretch of the regular season, committed just nine turnovers.