Wade Dominates as Heat Handle Warriors
Miami 110, Golden State 96
OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 11 (Ticker) -- The decision to rest Dwyane Wade five nights ago has proven to be a smart one for the Miami Heat.
Wade had his second straight stellar game since returning from a one-game layoff due to a bruised shin, scoring 32 points and handing out 11 assists in the Heat's 110-96 rout of the Golden State Warriors.
"I'm just trying to be aggressive," Wade said. "I think it all starts on the defensive end with myself so I should come out defensively and be active, it helps out my game offensively. Sitting out, it really made me think I need to come out and play with more energy to help this team win."
"(Wade) was real efficient against Portland," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "He was 13-for-19 tonight, 11 assists. When they load up on (Heat center Shaquille O'Neal), it makes the defense guard him or not guard him. He's such a great pick-and-roll player."
Wade improved to 26-of-36 (72 percent) from the floor in his last two games and finished with his 12th double-double this season. He closed the first quarter with an 18-footer at the buzzer to forge a 26-26 tie and opened the second by scoring Miami's first four points, handing his club the lead for good, 30-29, on a dunk.
Antoine Walker made three 3-pointers in the period to help the Heat open a 53-43 halftime lead and Wade capped a 14-2 burst late in the third quarter with two free throws and an assist on Jason Williams' layup that made it 79-62. Wade factored on Miami's first four baskets of the fourth period as it opened a 91-72 advantage. His dunk in traffic made it 105-91 with two minutes left.
"I was just being aggressive," Wade said of his highlight reel jam. "I went in a couple of times, got hit and didn't get a call so that time I went in with the mentality that if I'm going to get hit, I'm going to go up aggressive and finish."
The Warriors had scored the previous five points and saw any chance for a miracle comeback disappear with the slam. O'Neal had 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting and Walker made 5-of-7 3-pointers for 19 points as the Heat shot 59 percent (46-of-78), topping their season high of 58.8 percent set Tuesday.
"I should have had 40 (points) tonight, if I made my free throws I would have had 40," said O'Neal, who was 1-of-11 at the line. "My ankle is feeling a little bit better and I am getting my legs back under me. They weren't really doubling so I went for what I knew."
Baron Davis had 26 points, six assists and no turnovers for the Warriors (17-17), who fell to .500 for the third time this season. They have yet to have a losing record but will have a tough time keeping alive that trend with a visit to Phoenix on Thursday.
"Baron was under the weather but came out and had a great first half," Golden State coach Mike Montgomery said. "He got tired in the second half. We just didn't have other guys stepping up and helping him out there offensively. We let our offensive performance affect our defense too much."
Mike Dunleavy added 21 points but leading scorer Jason Richardson was limited to 15 on 4-of-13 shooting. The Warriors shot 38 percent (33-of-86) from the floor.
"We are still positive," Richardson said. "We're still right there. Of course we are not playing at the level we're capable of and winning games we are capable of winning. However, it's not the end of the world and it's not the end of the season. We can always change things around."
Fourteen of the Warriors' 17 losses came against teams with that currently are .500 or better.