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News » Wade brings Heat - again

Wade brings Heat - again

Wade brings Heat - again
The ninth sellout crowd of the season saw why some believe Dwyane Wade is a viable MVP candidate.

Wade, who owns two of the top four performances against the Thunder this season, scored 32 points to lead Miami to a 104-94 win Sunday night at the Ford Center.

"Dwyane Wade obviously had a Dwyane-like game," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "One thing our guys did well was contest his shots. He's a guy that made some tough shots. That's why he's a special player. He makes a lot of shots you really can't defend."

Desmond Mason, Oklahoma City's top defensive player, guarded Wade most of the game. The game plan was to force Wade to settle for jump shots, keep Wade out of the lane and off the free throw line.

"He took 28 shots to get 32 points," Mason said. "If he makes jump shots, he makes jump shots. A lot of their other guys had big games tonight. They hit 11 treys... We can live with (Wade scoring 32), but we can't let six guys be in double figures."

Wade scored 18 points in the first quarter, then helped the Heat build a 14-point third-quarter lead. Oklahoma City made one run - closing to within 90-85 with 7:25 remaining - but Wade spent much of the final seven minutes dishing out 10 assists to thwart the Thunder's rally.

"He's a phenomenal player," said Kevin Durant. "He gets those guys going every night. He's always tough driving the Basketball. Once he knocks down that jump shot he's unstoppable. He came out on fire tonight and made it tough."

Miami was on the road for 13 days, a seven-game road trip that ended in the Ford Center.

"The message (Wade) sent, and the message he gave the rest of our guys, was this was the last game of the road trip and this is a tough place to play," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "He knew what was at stake."

Wade doesn't play for one of the top NBA title contenders like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant or Dwight Howard, who play for the three teams with the NBA's best records. The Heat, though, could win 30 more games than last year's league-worst 15-67 finish.

"He was the most instrumental player on that (Olympic) team," Durant said. "(In Beijing) he got into the lane and passed to shooters. He would score when he wanted to. He's 6-4, but he plays like he's 6-9."

Thunder forward Nick Collison said he's been impressed how much Wade has improved since his Kansas team romped over Wade and Marquette at the Final Four six years ago.

"He was the focus of our game plan that day," Collison said. "I knew he was good, but I would have never thought he would be this good. Once he got in the league his confidence just skyrocketed. He won the (NBA) title his third year. He's on top of the world."


Top scoring performances by opponents this season against the Thunder.

Date Player, team Pts. Dec. 13 Dirk Nowitzki, Dall. 46 Dec. 6 Dwyane Wade, Mia. 38 Nov. 22 David West, N.O. 33 Jan. 18 Dwyane Wade, Mia. 32 Jan. 7 Randy Foye, Minn. 32 Dec. 21 LeBron James, Clev. 31 Jan. 12 Brook Lopez, N.J. 31 Jan. 2 Carmelo Anthony, Den. 31

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 21, 2009


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