Wade Rescues Heat in Win Over Hornets
Miami 109, New Orleans 102 (OT)
MIAMI, Nov. 15 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade found his shot just in time for the Miami Heat.
The cold-shooting Wade scored seven straight points to close regulation and added a key basket in overtime as the Heat scrambled for a 109-102 victory over the New Orleans Hornets.
"It took me a while to get in here because I was trying to figure out how we won tonight," said Miami coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team was pounded on the boards and was outscored in all of the specialty categories. "I was very disappointed in our energy tonight. I was disappointed in our defense."
Van Gundy wasn't disappointed with Wade, however, and made sure his playmaker had the ball in his hands when it mattered.
"If we go down the stretch and Dwyane's got the ball in his hands and he misses shots, I will go home and say, 'Oh, we he had a tough night tonight,'" Van Gundy said. "But if I don't go to him, I will go home kicking myself."
Wade had 25 points and 10 assists despite making just 7-of-21 shots. He appeared to have trouble solving a zone used by the Hornets and missed 13 of his first 16 shots, helping the Heat dig themselves a 90-83 deficit with less than two minutes to play.
"I knew it wasn't my night (up to that point)," Wade said. "But as a player you're going to go through that three or four times a year, if you are lucky."
Undeterred, the All-Star guard went to work, draining a jumper and driving for a three-point play. He added an 18-footer that tied it, 90-90, with 35 seconds remaining.
"I wanted to shoot them," Wade said. "I shot them just like I shot the rest. After I hit one you get confidence, then you hit another and another. ... You come back and get into a rhythm or a flow."
James Posey and Gary Payton, who combined to make just 1-of-7 shots in regulation, opened overtime with consecutive 3-pointers to give Miami the lead for good.
"I had better looks (in overtime)," said Posey, who added another 3-pointer later in the extra session. "I had time to get my feet set and tee it up."
Hornets rookie Chris Paul made two free throws, but Wade responded with a baseline jumper at the 2:26 mark and it was at least a two-possession game thereafter.
"He's our guy," Heat forward Udonis Haslem said. "We've got complete confidence in him. We are going to continue to feed him the ball because we have confidence that he will start making them, and that's what he did tonight."
"He (Wade) made all the big shots at the end," Hornets coach Byron Scott said. "That's what great players do. He wanted the ball, and he was able to deliver."
Antoine Walker scored 21 points off the bench and Jason Williams added 17 for the Heat, which was beaten on the boards, 54-40.
Williams left in the fourth quarter after bumping knees with Hornets forward Chris Andersen. He will be evaluated Wednesday but doesn't believe he will miss any time.
"Guys saw me and got me going," Walker said. "My job is to help Wade and Shaq (injured center Shaquille O'Neal) out. That's going to make us a bigger threat as we continue to get comfortable with each other. ... It gives us a lot of threats because we come off the bench with some scoring, it changes the other team's game plan."
Former Heat P.J. Brown - who was playing after finding out earlier Tuesday that his mother-in-law had died - had 24 points and 12 boards and David West added 16 and 10 for the Hornets, who went scoreless for more than four minutes across the fourth quarter and overtime.
"We did a few good things, and we did everything but close it out," Brown said. "They have one special player over there. When you say the word 'special' it's because those type of guys can hit shots that nobody else on the floor can hit. We couldn't stop them because of that one special player."
Paul had 16 points and 10 assists as he and fellow small guard Speedy Claxton gave the Heat fits with their speed. But ultimately it was Wade who left the Hornets with a solid but wasted effort.
"It's a great feeling knowing that people have confidence in your ability to get you the ball not only in the end, but to get me the ball when I was having the kind of game that I had," Wade said. "Coach didn't go away from me. He called my number over and over again and again. You miss some, you hit some. I'm not going to be the one who's scared to take 'em."