Michael Beasley delivers a clutch performance
Mired in the worst slump of his career, which had lovers and doubters alike questioning his place in this league, Beasley delivered his best ever fourth quarter performance against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night. The Heat rode his hot hand — and perhaps more importantly his stellar defense — to a 100-94 victory over its new arch rival in the Southeast division.
While Wade paced the Heat with 38 points, Beasley’s 22 came when the team needed it most. The Heat were down by a point with less than three minutes to play when Beasley entered the contest for the final time. This time he never left. Beasley went off on Atlanta with the game in the balance, with two late steals, an alley-oop dunk, a layup and a 3-pointer. In all, he scored 14 fourth-quarter points, including seven in the final two minutes.
The moment became Beasley’s in part because center Jermaine O’Neal was lost for the night in the second quarter due to an ailing left knee. Still, the extended playing time was surprising considering the overheard halftime conversation between the second year forward and head coach Erik Spoelstra.
Attached is a rare glimpse into an actual conversation picked up on a private video feed: