Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade turns back clock with clutch fourth quarter against Sixers
Dwyane Wade’s best days are well behind him, to the point that he’s not sure if he’ll return next season for what would be his 16th NBA campaign.
But for one night, at least, and more specifically one clutch fourth quarter, the Heat legend was about as good as he’s ever been.
Still settling into his second tour of duty in Miami, Wade scored 15 of his team’s final 17 points, including the go-ahead 21-footer with 5.9 seconds remaining to give the Heat a 102-101 victory over the Sixers.
To put Wade’s outburst into perspective, he is averaging just 11.2 points in 52 games this season with the Cavs and the Heat, who re-acquired him on Feb. 8 after he left the team in 2016 as a free agent.
It came with his mother and sister in attendance at AmericanAirlines Arena, and only days after Wade learned that Joaquin Oliver, one of 17 victims in the recent school shooting at Parkland’s Stoneman Douglas High School, had been buried in his jersey.
“It’s emotional even thinking about that, that his parents felt that burying him in my jersey is something that he wanted,” Wade said recently, as quoted by the Sun-Sentinel. “I take a lot of pride in what I’ve done in this state and what I’ve meant for the youth, so I appreciate that.”
Wade announced on Monday that he is dedicating the remainder of the season to Oliver.
It’s way BIGGER than basketball. We are the voices for the people that don’t get to be heard. Joaquin Oliver may you Rest In Peace and i dedicate my return and the rest of this Miami Heat season to you. 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) February 26, 2018
That included writing Oliver’s name on his shoes for Tuesday’s game, followed by a vintage performance worthy of such a tribute.
Wade’s onslaught began with a reverse layup to tie the game at 87 with 4:57 left in the fourth. It continued with a series of clutch shots and free throws to keep the Heat alive virtually single-handed, capped by his step-back jumper over Ben Simmons for his first game-winner since 2012, per ESPN Stats & Info.
— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 28, 2018
”That’s what he does,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. ”That’s who he is. That’s who he’s always been. He just sort of grabbed the team and put it on his back.”
Said Wade, “We could have put our head in our hands … but we didn’t. We stuck together, and we got it to work.”
More specifically, Wade got it to work, just like he’s done so many times over the years for the Heat.