Wade, Williams Run Heat Past Blazers
Miami 118, Portland 89
PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 8 (Ticker) -- After a one-game absence, Dwyane Wade and Jason Williams proved how important they are to the Miami Heat.
Wade and Williams combined for 51 points and 15 assists before sitting for the entire fourth quarter as the Heat rolled to a 118-89 rout of the struggling Portland Trail Blazers, who have dropped six straight games.
"I think us sitting out together, watching the Phoenix game, we really both couldn't wait to get back in and help our team," Wade said. "I think it showed that we missed being out there and we wanted to do whatever we could to help the team get a win."
"It was a good bounce back game for us tonight," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "I don't think it would have mattered who we played tonight. Obviously, it helped getting Dwyane and Jason back. It helped immensely."
Wade scored 15 of his 31 points in the third quarter and finished 13-of-17 from the floor. The superstar guard matched a career high with six steals and awed the Portland crowd with numerous high-flying dunks.
"Just the right place at the right time," Wade said. "Some nights are like that. I was able to get in a couple passing lanes and get some picks, but for the most part, it was just being in the right place at the right time."
Williams and Wade each collected 16 points in the first half, helping the Heat to a 64-51 advantage.
"We came out aggressive," Wade said. "I think the whole team came out aggressive and played with a tremendous amount of energy. Of course me and J-Will are the starting backcourt, so we have to provide a lot of it. But everybody came with focus today."
Both guards were especially effective on the fast break, finding each other for breakaway baskets.
With 9:50 remaining in the third period, Williams made a perfect lob pass to Wade for a dunk, giving the Heat a 70-53 advantage. Wade returned the favor 5:15 later, when he threw a full-court pass to Williams for a layup and an 86-65 lead.
"I think it was a matter of us running with a purpose instead of us just running to be running," Williams said. "Pat (Riley) stressed yesterday in practice getting us in the right spots. I think we did it."
Miami pushed its edge to 98-71 after 36 minutes and rested most of its starters in the final period.
"I thought Jason was great," Riley said. "I love him as a point guard. I wouldn't have traded for him if I didn't. And I thought Wade was really good. He was magnificent."
Antoine Walker scored 16 points off the bench while Shaquille O'Neal and James Posey added 12 apiece for the Heat, which shot 59 percent (47-of-80) and improved to 1-2 on a seven-game road trip.
"No defense at all," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "There was no commitment at the defensive end of the floor. Whether it was rebounding the ball, containing the ball or defending the perimeter, we just stopped playing. We quit."
Ruben Patterson led the Blazers with 16 points off the bench. Zach Randolph finished with 14 points for Portland, which has lost six straight for the second time this season.
"It was terrible man," Patterson said. "They did what ever they wanted to. It was crazy. Dwyane Wade was just doing what he wanted to do. Our guards have got to learn how to move their feet and stop the penetration."