WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (Ticker) --
It was thought that Dwyane Wade
going to play second fiddle to Shaquille O'Neal
. So far, it's
been the other way around.
Wade collected career highs with 37 points and 12 assists to
lead the Miami Heat to a 118-106 victory over their new
Southeast Division rivals, the Washington Wizards.
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A second-year guard, Wade has averaged 28 points in the Heat's
first three contests while the 7-1 O'Neal has netted just over
15 a game.
"I've always had confidence in my ability, but knowing that
Shaq's down there and his man's not going to leave him gives me
an opportunity to go down there and have more of a look than
I've probably ever had before," Wade said. "I think he gives
"Flash (Wade) - a helluva player," O'Neal said. "Nice kid,
humble kid. He deserves everything he's getting. I'm just glad
to be on his team. This guy did it the right way. (He) went to
college for a couple of years, a small college where nobody
really knows about him. ... I'm going to make sure he plays like
that every night."
Miami trailed early in the first quarter - the first time it had
trailed this season - but came back with a 17-7 run to take a
27-17 advantage after one quarter, a lead it never relinquished.
"I'd like to think of myself as a genius. but players win
games," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Dwyane's coming off and
making plays for Eddie (Jones) and Eddie's knocking down shots
and I look smart, you know. I like that."
Wade scored 19 points in the first half, with O'Neal playing
just 11 minutes because of foul trouble.
"I saw that Shaq was out early and I felt I had to make plays,"
Wade said. "I was making plays, getting my teammates the ball,
and also getting to the basket and scoring. I only took 16
shots. I wasn't trying to keep going and keep going. I was just
trying to do what I can to help us win."
and Antawn Jamison
each scored four points in a
14-6 run capped by a 3-pointer by Jarvis Hayes
Washington a 102-102 tie with 2:26 remaining.
But O'Neal scored the most important of his 13 points when he
slammed an alley-oop pass from Wade. Jones, who scored 24
points, buried three 3-pointers in the final 90 seconds to lift
Miami to 3-0 for the first time in nine years.
"Dwyane was coming off pick-and-rolls and kicking the ball out,"
Jones said. "If I'm open, I don't care, I'm letting the ball
fly. I know I can shoot."
"If (Eddie Jones) is spotting up for threes, it is like shooting
ducks in a barrel," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "With a
big man in the middle there is a lot of confidence out there
with the other guys."
Gilbert Arenas scored 27 points for the Wizards, but only two in
the last seven minutes. Larry Hughes
added 26 points,
including eight in the fourth quarter to pull Washington even.
"My teammates were looking for me to shoot more," said Arenas,
who also had seven turnovers. "They weren't expecting some of
the passes because I wasn't playing my game."
"They had everything going tonight," Jordan said. "Wade's
drives, Shaq's post-ups and their 3-point shooting. They had
everything working tonight and yet we were still right there to
have a chance to win the game."
Jamison collected 24 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards, who
had won their first two games.