Going into the teams’ first meeting of 2009-10, injuries seem to be making it more difficult for Wade to be as effective as he was in that contest.
The Heat look to win their seventh straight at home over the Jazz when they close a six-game stretch at AmericanAirlines Arena on Wednesday night.
Since drafting Wade in 2003, Miami (13-12) has yet to lose at home to Utah. Other than a 38-point win in 2006, however, the Heat’s margins of victory in those games were small, with the other five contests being decided by an average of fewer than six points.
Wade has averaged 33.0 points in five home games against Utah. He turned in a spectacular performance against the Jazz in a 140-129 triple-overtime home win March 14, scoring 50 points to go along with 10 rebounds, nine assists, four steals and two blocks.
Wade, though, has struggled with his shooting of late, possibly due in part to a back problem that had him getting heat treatment before a 102-95 loss to Portland on Sunday. The defeat dropped Miami to 2-3 on its homestand.
Wade, also bothered by a sore right wrist, finished with 28 points and 10 assists, but went 13 of 31 from the field and didn’t have a rebound for the fourth time in his career. He was 0 for 5 during Portland’s 18-2 run in the third quarter.
Wade shot below his season average of 43.2 percent in five of the last eight games.
Miami managed to shoot 49.4 percent while committing only seven turnovers Sunday.
“We had our opportunities,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They had their chances and they capitalized on them when it counted most. And it’s a shame, too, because we played well enough offensively across the board, moving the ball, shot a good percentage … for us to come up short, it’s a little bit frustrating.”
As Miami finishes up a disappointing homestand, Utah (16-12) is closing an equally inconsistent five-game road trip.
The Jazz split the first four contests and are coming off a 104-99 loss to Orlando on Monday. The Magic went on a 15-2 run in the fourth quarter to take control as Utah faded in its fourth game in six days.
“We got lost defensively,” coach Jerry Sloan said. “That’s tough to win.”
Sloan’s team is 5-8 on the road, averaging 96.5 points. The Jazz average 105.3 at home.