Saturday , May , 13 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Wade knocked down, but Heat rally to burn Nets in Game 3

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade didn’t let an elbow to the
face slow him down, as he scored 30 points, dished out 10 assists and pulled
down seven rebounds in Miami’s 103-92 victory over New Jersey in Game 3 of
their Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Wade, who was the recipient of an inadvertent elbow from Nets guard Vince
Carter in the third quarter, missed just one of his 15 foul shots, as the Heat
took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Wade scored half his points in
the last 4 1/2 minutes of the final quarter.

“They put the ball in your hands and they call your number, you always want to
come through,” Wade said. “It’s my time to step up.”

Shaquille O’Neal ended with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Antoine Walker
contributed 16 points for Miami. The Heat capitalized on six New Jersey
turnovers in the fourth quarter, leading to 10 Miami points.

Carter poured in 43 points, an all-time Nets playoff-high, shooting 17-
of-34 from the field. Richard Jefferson chipped in 17 for the short-handed
Nets, who were without forward Cliff Robinson. He was suspended for five games
after violating the terms of the league’s anti-drug program.

“I was just being aggressive and doing what I could to get my team a win,”
Carter said. “I was just being aggressive and taking what was there. I’m not
shooting shots just to get my shots and see how many points I could score.”

Game 4 is Sunday at Continental Airlines Arena.

Wade fell to the floor with under nine minutes left in the third quarter as
Carter tried to drive to the basket. Play continued as Wade remained
sprawled on the floor face down. He then went to the locker room on his own
with 8:13 left in the period and returned less than three minutes later.

“He just swept it through real low and once he got by me his arm caught me
pretty good in the chin and knocked me silly for a minute,” Wade said. “It
seemed like I was on the ground for about five minutes and the play never
stopped. It’s sore, but I’m all right.

Miami fell behind by eight points at that juncture, 64-56, as the Nets capped
a 15-0 run.

“I knew I was coming right back,” Wade said. “They just took me back because
of the blood. It was a good shot. I just wanted to make sure there was nothing
loose.”

The Heat used an 8-1 run later in the third to tie the game at 72 going into
the fourth.

“We were 1-for-10 to start the third quarter and that’s when we started to
play the game better,” Heat head coach Pat Riley said. “Dwyane was incredible.
Antoine hit some big shots for us. We had three or four real good defensive
stops. It was one of those crunch games.”

Carter’s driving layup gave the Nets an 81-80 lead with 4:36 left, but Miami
responded with an 11-2 run to pull away. Wade’s layup, which turned into a
three-point play, started it, and O’Neal’s alley-oop jam off a feed from Wade
with 2:17 left was the exclamation point, extending the margin to 91-83.

“I think our turnovers, first and foremost, led to a lot of easy baskets,
which pushed the lead up,” Carter said. “We were just making silly mistakes on
both ends. Once we tried to get it all back, as far as attacking the rim, it
was just too late.”

The Nets couldn’t get closer than six points after the jam, as Wade kept them
at bay by sinking all 11 of his free throws down the stretch.

Jason Kidd had 10 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for New Jersey.

New Jersey led by as many as six in the opening quarter, but Miami rallied to
forge a 27-27 tie going into the second.

Two free throws by Alonzo Mourning capped eight straight points by the Heat,
moving them to a 34-27 lead. However, the Nets answered with the next nine
points.

The Heat didn’t miss a beat in the second quarter, shooting 53.8 percent. An
18-7 spurt gave Miami a 54-45 lead, with Walker’s three finishing the rally.
It was 54-49 at the half.

Game Notes

Kidd moved ahead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (767), Oscar Robertson (769) and Bill
Russell (760) for 16th place on the NBA’s all-time assists list in playoff
history…This marks the second time in Carter’s playoff career he’s had at
least 40 points. He’s scored 20-plus points in every postseason game this year
and 13 straight going back to 2005…Jason Collins had 11 rebounds before
fouling out for New Jersey…James Posey had eight points and 10 boards for
Miami…The Heat were 34-of-40 at the foul line, while the Nets finished
12-of-20.

NJN MIA