By Art Garcia, NBA.com
Posted Feb 15 2010 7:21AM
ARLINGTON -- Dwyane Wade sure enjoys finishing first in North Texas.
The Heat's signature star added to his Lone Star State legend with a dazzling aerial performance Sunday night worthy of the largest basketball crowd in the history of civilization. If only D-Wade would have put those hops to use Saturday night.
Wade led all the All-Stars with 28 points as the Eastern Conference held on for a 141-139 triumph before a record 108,713 fans packing Cowboys Stadium to its retractable roof. For only the second time in his career, Wade left the Dallas area victorious.
How's this for efficiency? The 2006 Finals MVP clinched Miami's lone title with a 36-point effort to close out the Mavericks in Game 6 at American Airlines Center. And then there was Sunday.
"I've had a little luck in Dallas," Wade quipped. "Of course 2006 is very, very memorable. Something that I dreamed of doing for a long time -- winning the NBA championship -- and I was lucky enough and blessed enough to win the MVP award there.
"To come and do it again is special."
Wade slashed and gashed through the West defense, shooting just one 3-pointer along the way. He missed just four of 16 shots, while finding time and teammates to hand out a team-best 11 assists. There were also six rebounds and a game-high five steals in the 31-minute outing.
Wade picked up nine of the 12 possible MVP votes, outdistancing teammates LeBron James (two) and Chris Bosh (one). And in the same vein as Mark Cuban shooting for more when attendance estimates were inching near 100,000 in recent days, Wade hoped for a little more on his stat line.
"I want to do a little bit of everything, kind of what I do," he said. "Wish I could have got a couple more rebounds; made it real special."
West forward Dirk Nowitzki has tried his best to block out the D-Wade Experience from four years ago. The two both went to the line in the final 13 seconds, drawing a faint flash bask to that wild series. What the Mavericks' franchise player, or anyone else, can't forget is Wade's exhausting drive.
"They deserved it back then and so hopefully I get another shot," Nowitzki said, "but he's an incredible player and he's fun to watch."
After a pair of injury-plagued seasons following the title, and a trip to the lottery, Wade and the Heat have rebounded over the last two seasons. He's regained his stature as one of the three or four best players in the league. He's also the first from the Heat franchise to win the All-Star MVP.
"I'm just happy for Dwyane Wade," East teammate Dwight Howard said. "All the things he's been through in his career, for him to come out on top tonight and get the MVP, I'm happy for him."
As spectacular as Wade was, Cuban good-naturedly lobbied for a co-MVP. How about the crowd and the experience?
"Wow, wow. All you can say is that it's amazing," gushed the Mavericks owner, the co-brainchild behind this All-Star game with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "What do you think? Kinda makes that thing in Miami look like ... I shouldn't say that."
Cuban took another good-natured jab at the Super Bowl: "I'm booking The Who to play at my son's bar mitzvah." The Grammy-laden musical lineup of Alicia Keys, Shakira and Usher shared the spotlight Sunday, but no one shined brighter than Wade.
"It's a historical event," Wade said. "It's going to be in our minds and our hearts and thoughts for a long time, Dallas and the MVP. Jerry Jones and Mark Cuban really put on a fabulous event and to be able to perform in front of a crowd like that, I know that I can do it.
"I've done it before."
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