NEW ORLEANS -- The two-time defending champion Heat are a mess right now. The players made that pretty clear Saturday night after Miami fell to a seventh loss in 11 games while Anthony Davis continued to make franchise history for the Pelicans.
LeBron James played through back soreness, only to twist his ankle, and Davis had 30 points, 11 rebounds and three steals -- giving him a franchise record three straight 30-point, 10-rebound games -- as the Pelicans pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 105-95 victory.
"We suck," the Heat's Chris Bosh said. "We need to turn it around. There's no passion. There's nothing."
James twisted his right ankle while stepping on Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans' foot during a drive to the hoop late in the third quarter. He remained in the game and finished with 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. It was not enough for Miami, which gave guard Dwyane Wade and center Greg Oden the night off following Friday's victory at Memphis.
"Put another injury on my list," James said. "It is what it is. I'm not using it as an excuse."
James thinks the Heat already have enough of them, and his annoyance was evident.
"It's too many excuses. Everything is an excuse. We do something wrong, it's an excuse. We don't get a stop, it's an excuse. We turn the ball over, it's an excuse," James said. "What we're doing right now ain't good enough.
"It's very frustrating. We're all frustrated," James continued. "We just got to all get on the same page. I don't know what we're going to do, but we've got to figure it out."
One thing James made clear was that the solution would not entail more rest for him, despite his back and ankle soreness.
"I don't have time to take off," he said. "We don't have time to take off."
Meanwhile, Davis, an All-Star in only his second pro season out of Kentucky, has been in a remarkable groove for someone who just turned 21 this month.
He has scored at least 28 points and grabbed at least nine rebounds in eight straight games, the longest such streak since Shaquille O'Neal did it 12 games in a row with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2001.
"He's spectacular. He's getting better every single day," James said of Davis. "When you know you're a star and your team looks at you as a leader, as a star, you make plays and that's what he's doing."
Said Davis: "I don't care what I score as long as we win," Davis said. "But if it comes to me, I'm not going to turn down any shots. Whoever has the hot hand, the team goes to them to make sure they stay in their groove."
"Yes, our locker room is angry," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We're not accustomed to this type of play, these type of standards, particularly on the defensive end, and if we want to change, we have to look inward."