Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/26/12
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Win and move on. That seems to be the Miami Heat's approach right now as it enters its first extended road stretch this season. So even though the Heat couldn't put away the lowly Charlotte Bobcats until late in the fourth quarter, coach Erik Spoelstra and his players were satisfied for the most part with their 105-92 victory at Time Warner Cable Arena. Dwyane Wade scored 29 points, and LeBron James had 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and the Heat opened a four-game road trip by winning their sixth straight and improving to 20-6 for the season. Miami led by as many as 19 in the first half, then had to go to work again after the Bobcats got as close as two in the final eight minutes. "We want to take care of business away from our arena," Spoelstra said. "We've been home for a long time, but we know the next three weeks we'll be out the majority of the time, so regardless of who we're playing, we want to build that mentality. "I thought we came in with the right mindset and disposition tonight. We were a little more inconsistent in the second half, but we found a way and every experience is good for us," Spoelstra said. "We had to dig a little bit. We didn't respond quite the way we would have liked, but there were some good things that happened tonight and having to fight for the game at the end was a good experience." Wednesday night's game started a stretch where the Heat will play 10 of its next 13 games on the road. They are now 6-4 on the road this season. "We have to have a bunker mentality, a road warrior mentality," said James, who finished just two assists shy of his second triple-double of the season. "We understand to this point we haven't played basketball on the road, 5-4 coming into this game, but we were able to take care of business tonight." James and Wade took matters into their own hands after the Bobcats got as close as 84-82 on Gerald Henderson's three-point play with 7:16 left. James hit a 3-pointer to push the lead back to five, and shortly thereafter Wade hit two jumpers in a 7-0 run that pushed the lead back to double figures. James hit another 3-pointer with 3:14 left, good for a 98-87 win, and the Heat was home free from there. "Teams have got pride," Wade said. "Teams are going to make a run at some point. We came out with the same intensity that we've had the last couple of games. Teams make a run, and then we respond. That's the key." The Heat also got 17 points from Mario Chalmers and 14 points from Chris Bosh. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 27 points, six rebounds and six assists. The Bobcats also got 19 points from Ramon Sessions, 18 points and nine rebounds from Hakim Warrick in his first start of the season, and 14 points from Henderson. The Bobcats fell to 7-21 and suffered their 16th straight loss, but impressed Spoelstra nonetheless. "You have to give them credit because they compete and they keep on coming at you," Spoelstra said. "They're coached well and they continue to claw and scratch. They've had a lot of close games despite the tough run they've had, and they just keep coming at you." For Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap, it was a replay of several near-misses and collapses down the stretch during this losing streak. "This isn't my definition of fun, but we've got to stay the course," Dunlap said. "Even though it's painful at this point, it's not always going to be this way. There's a lot of promise within the adversity." Notes: The Heat announced on Wednesday that it was sending Dexter Pittman to its Sioux Falls affiliate in the NBDL. Spoelstra said he expected the third-year center to spend two to three weeks in Sioux Falls. Pittman had appeared in only four games with the Heat. ... The Bobcats' losing streak started on Nov. 26 in a 114-69 loss at Oklahoma City. The franchise record stands at 23 straight, to close out last season. ... The Bobcats were without Byron Mullens, who did not suit up because of a sprained left ankle, and Ben Gordon, who was experiencing discomfort in his right knee. ... Miami's Mike Miller joined the 10,000-point club in the win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday. The Heat now has six players on the roster who have scored at least 10,000 career points. The others are James, Wade, Bosh, Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. ... The Bobcats will play at Brooklyn on Friday and then return home to face New Orleans on Saturday. ... The Heat will play at Detroit on Friday, then at Milwaukee and at Orlando. ... The Heat was visited in the locker room after the game by wrestler Ric Flair, and they serenaded him with his trademark "Wooooo."
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