NBA Playoffs Heat Up
Dwyane Wade might be in the twilight of his career, but it’s morning again in Miami.
The 36-year-old veteran of 15 NBA seasons came off the bench on Monday night in a sterling relief performance to score a season-high 28 points – 21 in the first half – as the Heat evened their playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers at 1-1 with a 113-103 road victory.
The Heat couldn’t risk leaving Philly down two games with Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid about to return from a concussion and eye-socket injury. They also had lost 10 of their last 12 road games (counting the regular season) and the Sixers had won 17 straight. And the Heat had center Hassan Whiteside and guard Goran Dragic in early foul trouble.
Enter Wade. A classic drive and stop in the lane for two. A jumper for two. Eight-of-nine shooting in the first half and a steal that led to a layup late in the game when the 76ers made their expected charge. A key offensive rebound to set up a basket. And another made jumper with 47.9 seconds left that secured the win.
“The reason I was brought here was for a game like this,” Wade said.
Wade began the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers after a modest single season with the Chicago Bulls. The Cavs traded him to the Heat and Wade, a star over so many seasons of such magnitude and three times an MVP champion, learned a new role with his old team – spot player and substitute.
“He has moments,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That’s what defines him.”
Yes. That’s why they’re called defining moments.
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