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News » Heat 104, Thunder 94

Heat 104, Thunder 94

Heat 104, Thunder 94
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Having the circus in Miami sure took its toll on the Heat.

Dwyane Wade's legs were sore, Udonis Haslem had a bad back and Shawn Marion was too hurt to play. Even at the end of a seven-game, 12-day road trip, the Heat still had enough to pull through.

Wade had 32 points and racked up most of his 10 assists while helping thwart Oklahoma City's fourth-quarter rally as the Heat beat the Thunder 104-94 Sunday night to head home on a positive note.

"Everybody's tired, bumped up, bruised up," Haslem said. "We just had unbelievable mental focus tonight. We put all our individual bumps and bruises aside and everybody came together and we did what we had to do."

Wade went on a scoring flurry early and then capped the night by methodically taking apart Oklahoma City's defense with a series of passes to his teammates.

Yakhouba Diawara scored 14 points after starting in place of Marion (groin), and Jamaal Magloire and Mario Chalmers each added 13 points for Miami. Haslem had 11 points and a season-high 15 rebounds.

Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 31 points, Jeff Green scored 22 and Russell Westbrook added 14 points and eight rebounds.

The Heat finished 4-3 on their road trip and will host Boston on Wednesday night in their first home game since Jan. 5.

"It's the time of the season that everyone's banged up," said Wade, sitting at his locker with ice bags on both knees. "Everyone's just banged up, but now we've got a couple days off before we've got to play Boston. It'll give everybody an opportunity to get healthy and get some rest."

Miami had led by 14 in the third quarter, but the Thunder cut into the gap as Wade rested at the start of the final period.

Oklahoma City pulled to 86-81 when Durant hit back-to-back 3-pointers with 9:45 to play, and that prompted Heat coach Erik Spoelstra to call timeout and put Wade back in.

The NBA's scoring leader made consecutive jumpers from the same spot on the left wing to stabilize Miami and then used a pump-fake to set up Chalmers for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer that extended the lead to 93-85. He added two more assists on 3s by Daequan Cook and Chalmers that pushed the lead into double digits, and sealed up his 10th double-double when he found Magloire open for a right-handed jam that made it 103-88 with just over 2 minutes left.

"Dwyane was really the one that was orchestrating that whole attack. It was just a very poised, mature attack at the end of the game to get good shots and to play the time and score," Spoelstra said. "In many ways, we looked like a mature, veteran team tonight in closing out the game on both sides of the floor - which I think is very encouraging."

The Thunder had won consecutive games for the first time this season - both against teams with winning records - before losing the finale of a three-game homestand in front of a sellout crowd.

"It's just one of those games you look at the stat sheet and say, 'I don't know what happened.' I think overall we played OK. We could have played a lot better," Durant said. "I think the one main thing I'd have to pinpoint is that they played harder than we did."

Wade scored 18 points in the first 10 minutes, sinking an assortment of jumpers and layups and even answering Durant's missed right-handed jam with a successful dunk at the other end. When he returned after a 6-minute rest to start the second quarter, Miami scored six straight points and opened a 47-38 lead after Chalmers' reverse layup.

Wade and Oklahoma City's Desmond Mason had to be separated after the two exchanged words following Wade's 3-pointer in the closing minute of the first half, his only basket of the second quarter.

Most of his damage from then on came when he was creating opportunities for his teammates. After shooting 9-for-15 in the first half, Wade was 5-for-13 after the break but had four big assists in the fourth quarter.

"I have the ball in my hands a lot. I might shoot 20 shots a game or more, but I pass the ball a lot as well," Wade said. "I set my team up for good shots, and they knock them down. To me, it's all about making plays, not only for yourself, but making plays for others.

"Early in the game when my shot was falling the way it was, I knew late in the game the defense was going to change a little bit and I was going to be able to hit my guys."

Notes: Marion also missed two games in November with a strained left groin. ... Thunder F Joe Smith missed his fourth straight game with a sore left knee. ... The crowd was sprinkled with fans in Kansas State jerseys, marking Heat first-round pick Michael Beasley's closest return to his college campus. ... Miami G Chris Quinn's streak of consecutive free throws was snapped at 21 when he missed the second of two tries in the first quarter. ... Haslem needs five more rebounds to tie Grant Long, a Thunder broadcaster, for third in career rebounds for Miami with 3,281.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 19, 2009


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