Friday , Feb , 02 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Wade’s 41 boosts Heat over Cavs

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade scored 24 of his 41 points in the
fourth quarter and missed just one of his 24 foul shots on the night, as the
Miami Heat held on for a 92-89 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Wade went 9-of-20 from the field and also had a franchise-record 12 turnovers,
but the Heat still managed to rally from a 12-point deficit in the fourth
quarter to win back-to-back contests for the first time in nearly three weeks.
Wade made his first 20 free throws before finally missing with 18 seconds
left.

“My teammates kept me confident, especially GP (Gary Payton) telling me to be
more aggressive offensively,” Wade said. “I was getting to the paint, but I
wasn’t looking to score. I was looking to pass. I knew it was a matter of time
before I got going.”

The game featured the return of two All-Stars. Miami center Shaquille O’Neal,
who sat out the last two games because of a calf injury, started. Cavaliers
forward LeBron James, who had missed two of the last three contests due to a
sprained right big toe, also returned.

O’Neal fouled out late in the fourth quarter and finished with 16 points and
eight rebounds.

“Twenty-eight minutes is a good start,” O’Neal said. “I’m still a little bit
rusty. We’re going to get back on track before going into the All-Star break.
After the All-Star break, is when we have to be really on point.”

James ended with 17 points and nine assists on just 6-of-18 shooting, and
missed the potential tying three-pointer at the buzzer.

“We had a lot of chances,” James said. “I take full responsibility for this
loss tonight.”

Daniel Gibson had a career-high 19 points for the Cavaliers, who have lost
seven of their last 10 contests. They’ve also lost eight in a row at Miami.

Gibson’s three-pointer from the left corner boosted the Cavs to an 84-82 lead
with 1:37 left, but Wade hit two from the foul line to tie the game.

Then, after James missed a pair from the charity stripe, Wade darted into the
lane and was fouled to finish a three-point play.

A couple of hard fouls had an effect on the outcome. James bowled over James
Posey, who was called for the personal. Heat coach Ron Rothstein argued and
was given a technical, leading to a free throw from Zydrunas Ilgauskas. James
made 1-of-2 from the line for an 87-86 Heat lead with 44.8 seconds left.

“It was inexcusable that I got a technical foul at that time,” Rothstein said.
“I apologize to the team. I would have been in a deep, deep depression if we
would have lost this game.”

Antoine Walker then missed a three-pointer for the Heat, but Posey got the
offensive rebound and passed the ball to Wade. At the same time, James flashed
toward midcourt and his right arm corralled Wade around the neck, as the Heat
star fell to the ground.

James was given a flagrant foul, which led to Wade making three-of-four free
throws with 20.4 seconds left.

The Cavs were still not done though, as James drilled a three with 4.9 seconds
left for a 90-89 deficit. Wade then hit two more foul shots with 3.6 showing
before James’ attempt from beyond the top of the circle came up short as time
expired.

Jason Kapono had 13 points for Miami.

Drew Gooden scored 11 and Sasha Pavlovic had 10 for the Cavs, who were ahead
41-38 at the half and widened the margin to 66-58 going into the final period.
Eric Snow’s jumper made it 76-64 with 8:01 remaining before the Heat rallied.

Wade had the first eight of Miami’s 11 unanswered points, which ended with
Posey’s three for a 76-75 margin with 4:48 left.

“I think we made some substitutions that hindered us for a couple of minutes,”
Gooden said. “I think that’s when the lead decreased and we had to put our
starters back in and it was a neck and neck fight to the end.”

Game Notes

Eddie Jones, who played five seasons with the Heat, returned to Miami on
Thursday after signing a contract, two days following his release from the
Memphis Grizzlies…The home team has won five straight and 11 of the last 12
meetings… Miami has won nine of the last 13 encounters, and 13 of 16 at home
versus the Cavs…Wade’s 23 free throws made is a franchise record. His 24
points are the most in any quarter in Heat history.

CLE MIA