Dwyane Wade crushed the thought that this was just another December game when Ira Winderman quoted him as saying “we don’t like to lose at home” and “we don’t like to lose to a team multiple times.” The rest of the Miami Heat squashed that notion by showing they were prepared to fight with anybody — including each other.
We saw that when LeBron James lunged at Mario Chalmers in the middle of a huddle only to rightfully apologize and admit that he was in the wrong. We even saw the return of Udonis Haslem’s finger wagging ways. You know the one where he lets opposing teams know that he’s not going to let his little brothers get punked in their household.
The teams were ready to fight back against the horrible referees, the Heat bounced back from down 15 and coach Erik Spoelstra was even forced to unleash a new big man lineup of Chris Bosh and Chris Andersen. These are all things that rivalries are made of — including Ray Allen banging in a big time three. But the true key was D-Wade.
He pulled out one of those vintage games that reminded you of the damage he could do when healthy and having to carry the team. Because for all of the good work that James did, it was Wade’s ability to flashback that kept the Heat afloat.
His 32 points — 18 in the second half, nine in the fourth quarter — saved us all from having to hear about how the team’s major deficiencies helped the seemingly obnoxious (Chris Broussard’s word not mine) Indiana Pacers’ progress. Thanks D-Wade.
“I just wanted to be aggressive early on,” Wade said via the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “It just lasted the entire game. This is the best I’ve felt. I just want to keep it up.”
Now can we get a back-to-back?
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