Wade, recovering from a separated shoulder, looks to lead the Heat to their third straight win when they take on the last-place Boston Celtics in Miami’s regular-season home finale on Monday.
Between Wade’s shoulder injury and Shaquille O’Neal’s knee troubles early this season, Miami (44-36) has only had its top two scorers play together for 16 games in 2006-07.
The duo combined for 44 points in Friday’s 100-96 win over Indiana. In his fourth game back after a 23-game absence, Wade scored 14 of his 23 in the fourth quarter as the Heat rallied from a seven-point deficit in the final 4:02.
“He keeps preaching to himself that he has to just keep playing. As much as he wants it to come quick, it is not going to come that quick,” coach Pat Riley said. “Making solid fundamental plays is probably where it is at right now. You can see at the end, he was very motivated to win the game. He made some great plays and great passes.”
The defending NBA champions have secured their third straight Southeast Division title, but are just 2-2 since Wade’s and 8-7 since their season-high nine-game win streak was snapped March 18.
“Nobody wants to play good in spurts,” O’Neal said. “We have be consistent like all the other good teams out there. We still have time.”
The Heat will continue their search for consistency against Boston, which has lost seven in a row to clinch the worst record in the East.
The Celtics (23-57) nearly overcame a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit on Sunday to snap their skid, but Delonte West’s layup at the buzzer was blocked as Boston lost 88-86 to Orlando.
Boston outscored Orlando 27-10 in the fourth quarter, including an 18-2 run that pulled the Celtics within a point in the game’s final minute.
“It was unbelievable how we competed and it was fun to watch,” Celtics coach Doc Rivers said. “I’m really proud of our guys. They have been an absolutely fantastic group to coach.”
Al Jefferson returned to Boston’s lineup to score 28 points in his first game since April 1. Jefferson had missed the previous six contests with a bruised left knee.
With Sunday’s loss, the Celtics have dropped six straight games away from home as they head into their road finale in Miami.
The Heat, meanwhile, have won four of their last five at American Airlines Arena to improve to 27-13 there this season.
Miami has won nine of its last 11 games against Boston, including both matchups in 2006-07. The Celtics are also winless in their last five trips to Miami, where they haven’t won since Jan. 20, 2004.
These teams last met April 6, when O’Neal had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Heat past the Celtics 88-85 in Boston.