MIAMI (AP)—Dwyane Wade was on the bench during Miami’s big run in the second quarter. The rookie was still the biggest reason the Heat were able to come up with a rare victory over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday night.
Wade scored 31 points, two short of his career high, to lead the Heat to a 97-85 victory, Miami’s fourth over the Jazz in their last 18 meetings.
“His continuation is probably the best in the league,” Utah coach Jerry Sloan said of Wade. “He’s a terrific player. We had no answer for him. He kept driving right down the middle and he didn’t have too many problems.”
Wade tied Sherman Douglas’ club rookie record with his third game of at least 30 points. He was 8-for-13 from the field and 14-for-17 from the free throw line, both career highs.
“We really went at it today,” Wade said. “We really tried to have me come off pick-and-rolls, penetrate and pass to someone else or penetrate and keep going myself.”
Butler added a season-high 15 points as a reserve and Brian Grant scored 12 points.
“I’m one of those horses or bulls that’s just been locked in the stable waiting to get out,” Butler said. “So when I get out there, I just try to go as hard as I can and help us, more so defensively.”
“We started out kind of sluggish,” Jazz center Greg Ostertag said. “We threw the ball away a bunch, but then we got it under control and made a good run. We could never get over the hump.”
Jones was 3-for-14 from the field and had eight points, while Odom finished with six points, snapping his career-high streak of 28 consecutive games in double figures.
“When Eddie or when Dwyane scores, the Heat scoreboard lights up,” Odom said. “I love when Dwyane gets cooking. It gets to a point where he is fun to watch, where I become a fan.”
After its big run, Miami kept the lead in double digits until the third quarter, when the Jazz cut the deficit to three two times.
Trailing 61-58, the Jazz had a chance to further cut into the lead, but Raja Bell missed a jumper and Wade followed with a three-point play.
Utah got no closer than five points after that as Miami won its second consecutive game following a five-game losing streak.
“That was a momentum killer right there,” Bell said. “We were clawing our way back into it.”
Miami improved to 15-10 at home, one victory shy of its total for last season. The Heat, who began the day one game behind Boston for eighth place in the Eastern Conference, had lost their last three at home.
“It was great to end a three-game home losing streak and get back to our winning ways,” Alston said. “We do well here. If we continue to do that andpick up some road wins we’ll be all right.”
Kirilenko ran his streak of consecutive field goals against the Heat to 15 before missing in the third quarter. He made his last seven in the previous game, and his first eight Tuesday. … Kirilenko’s previous career high was 30 points, which he had tied Dec. 14 against Philadelphia. … Jones is 9-for-37 from the field over the last three games. … Utah point guards Carlos Arroyo and Raul Lopez combined to go 0-for-10 from the field in the first half. … Heat starting F Caron Butler returned after missing one game with a back injury. … The Heat began a stretch of playing 12 of 15 games at home. …Utah began a streak of playing six of seven games on the road.