Wade leads Heat over Pacers
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade poured in 33 points, pulled down six
rebounds and dished out eight assists as Miami downed Indiana, 104-101, at
Jason Williams added 20 points and eight assists for the Heat, who won for the
fifth time in six games. Alonzo Mourning chipped in with 14 points while Jason
Kapono finished with 11.
Danny Granger scored a career-high 28 points for the Pacers, who dropped
their third straight. Marquis Daniels tallied 23 points and Jermaine
O’Neal notched 17 points and 10 boards for Indiana.
The Heat were expecting the return of Shaquille O’Neal but the center
postponed his return for at least two more games. O’Neal has played in just
four games this season after he tore cartilage in his left knee on November 12
versus Houston and had surgery a week later.
Meanwhile, the Pacers took to the hardwood shorthanded after trading Al
Harrington, Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius and Josh Powell to the
Golden State Warriors on Wednesday for Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu
and Keith McLeod. None of the new Pacers were in uniform for the contest.
Miami took a slim 23-22 edge after the opening 12 minutes and extended its
advantage to 55-49 at intermission.
The Heat then grabbed control of the game with a dominant third quarter.
Williams scored 12 points in the frame as Miami outscored the Pacers 30-21 to
take a 15-point cushion, 85-70, in the fourth.
The Heat continued to hold Indiana at arm’s length as the game headed toward
the stretch. But, the Pacers had one last run in them. Jeff Foster capped a
10-0 burst with a three-point play and Indiana was down by just four, 98-94,
with 1:31 left.
Williams finally stopped the bleeding by drilling a jumper 21 seconds later.
The Pacers refused to go away, however, and kept chipping away. Shawne
Williams drained a three from the left wing, with 13 ticks left, to make it
Wade then got loose, went to the hoop and threw the ball up thinking he drew
contact. The whistles were silent but the All-Star made the shot, making it a
Indiana had a chance to deadlock things on the ensuing possession but
Granger’s three from the top hit the front of the iron.
“We won and a win is a win,” said acting Heat coach Ron Rothstein. “They do a
great job against us for whatever reason of not going away.”
The Heat are now 9-9 at home this season…Foster finished with 14
points…The Heat finished a dismal 1-of-10 from long range.