Dwyane Wade didn’t have an explanation, other than to say everything simply went his way.
Wade’s blind, over-the-shoulder flip provided the perfect highlight for his 26-point, nine-assist effort Saturday night, one that led the Miami Heat to their 14th straight win, 113-90 over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Wade made 11 of 16 shots for the Heat, who have the NBA’s longest winning streak this season. Miami turned the game into a blowout with a 27-12 third-quarter burst, one paced by Wade—whom the Bobcats couldn’t stop.
“Those are the best nights, when you feel like it’s just you and the basket and no one can really do much about it,” Wade said. “I wish I had more of those nights.”
O’Neal added 16 points for Miami (25-7), which had all five starters score in double figures and moved 6 1/2 games ahead of Cleveland for the Eastern Conference’s best record.
The Heat shot a season-high 59.2 percent from the floor and made it look easy—no one more so than Wade.
With 3:53 left in the third quarter, he dribbled past Charlotte’s Kareem Rush and drove down the left side of the lane. Brevin Knight stepped in front, and wrapped both arms around Wade—who turned his back from the basket, tossed the ball over his shoulder and somehow got it to fall through the hoop.
“That’s the kind of night he had going,” Knight said. “You have to tip your hat and move on.”
Added Miami’s Udonis Haslem: “Once he gets in that groove, he can throw up all kinds of stuff. It’ll go in.”
Emeka Okafor had his 19th straight double-double—17 points and 10 rebounds — for Charlotte, which also got 14 points from Jason Hart, 10 points from Rush, and seven assists from Knight. The Bobcats’ starters were outscored 78-41 by Miami’s opening lineup.
The Heat’s winning streak is the NBA’s longest since New Jersey won 14 straight last season. The last team to win more consecutively was O’Neal’s Los Angeles Lakers, who had a 19-game run during the 1999-2000 season on the way to a championship.
“They are a good basketball team and we are just not in that class, especially on a back-to-back,” said Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff, whose team lost its fifth straight. “We just didn’t have that persistence to get anything done.”
Charlotte lost at home on Friday to Seattle.
Foul trouble sent O’Neal to the bench twice in the first half—but Miami pulled away on both occasions.
O’Neal picked up his second foul with 3:33 left in the first, but the Heat responded with a 13-2 run to build an eight-point lead. And with O’Neal out with three fouls, Miami outscored Charlotte 14-4 in the last 3:32 of the half to take a 55-43 edge.
Wade added plenty of entries to his burgeoning highlight reel. He had three dunks in the second quarter, the first coming on a two-handed slam after he dribbled uncontested down the lane for a 33-26 lead.
On Miami’s next trip, he took a perfect, back-door bounce pass from Christian Laettner for another dunk. And with 1:28 left in the half, Laettner found the cutting Wade again for a slam that put Miami up 50-39.
Charlotte was within 63-56 after consecutive baskets by Gerald Wallace early in the third, but another dunk by Wade—this time a reverse slam after a three-quarter court pass from Damon Jones—capped an 11-1 run in a 1:19 stretch that swelled Miami’s lead to 74-57.
“The one shot he hit was ridiculous,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “See things like that, you don’t see them a lot, so you enjoy them when you see them.”
Miami led at halftime for just the fifth time during the winning streak. … Charlotte fell to 1-13 on the road, the worst mark in the East. … Actor Jamie Foxx, who earned a record three Golden Globe nominations for his 2004 work in “Ray,” “Collateral” and the prison drama “Redemption,” was at the game, as was producer Jerry Bruckheimer. … Heat C Wang Zhi-Zhi played five minutes, his first action in nine games. He scored seven points.