After taking time off to rest a sprained right wrist last week, Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade says his energy level is the best it’s been all season. That’s not good news for the Heat’s upcoming opponents.
Wade looks to lead Miami (15-19) to a season-high third straight win when it visits the Golden State Warriors (18-19) on Friday night.
Wade injured his wrist early in the Heat’s 109-103 loss to Chicago on Dec. 27, and played just six minutes before coming out to get X-rays.
Miami played its next four games without the MVP of last season’s NBA Finals, and lost all of them by an average of 20.5 points.
Wade returned Sunday and scored 33 points in a 93-90 win over Portland, and had 29 points and 13 assists in Wednesday’s 107-103 victory at Seattle.
The two-time All-Star had four points and nine assists at halftime, but saved his best for after the break, scoring 14 points in the final eight minutes.
“I felt early that I was sitting pretty good energy wise and it was probably the best for the season where I didn’t get tired,” Wade said. “But just coming out and setting my teammates up, I didn’t have to use a lot of energy early on and that allowed me to save a lot for the end of the game when they needed me to attack and make plays.”
The Heat have been unable to win this season without Wade’s leadership and explosiveness, dropping all six games he has missed.
Wade is averaging 31.8 points in the last eight games he has played more than six minutes, and Miami has won seven of those contests.
He struggled in his last game against the Warriors, though, attempting just four free throws and finishing with 18 points—one more than his season low— in the Heat’s 105-92 win Dec. 23.
Wade scored 74 points on 69.2 percent shooting in two games against Golden State last season as the Heat earned a split of the season series.
Miami has dominated the series of late, winning 15 of the last 19 matchups, including the last two at Oracle Arena.
The Heat are halfway through a season-high six-game road trip, and have won their last two on the road following a season-high six-game skid away from home.
The Warriors have been tough to beat on their home court this season, going 14-6 at Oracle Arena. However, they had their season-high six-game home win streak ended with a 91-76 loss to Orlando on Wednesday.
Golden State was ahead 47-42 at halftime, but never led again after scoring just 10 points on 5-of-25 shooting in the third quarter.
“Ten points, that was terrible,” forward Matt Barnes said. “We’ve got to find a way to win. We’re in a funk right now. This is a crucial part of our schedule.”
The Warriors have lost three of their last four games, allowing 116.8 points in those contests.
Barnes had 20 points against the Heat three weeks ago, and is averaging 18.1 points in his last nine games—7.0 above his season average.
Baron Davis had just 13 points on 4-of-14 shooting against the Magic, but is averaging 22.2 points and shooting 44.7 percent (17-of-38) from 3-point range in his last six games against Miami.