SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Dwyane Wade nearly topped his third career triple-double by following it with his fourth.
Wade had 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in Miami’s 100-94 win over the Utah Jazz on Saturday night, the Heat’s fourth straight on a long road trip that is just about over now.
“We’ve got it now, you know? We’ve got what we need to do to win,” Wade said.
The Heat overcame Shaquille O’Neal’s early foul trouble and any fatigue they had from playing the night before in Seattle.
Miami was still fresh enough in the fourth quarter to hold off several late rallies and outrebounded Utah 50-36—pulling down 18 offensive boards. The Heat improved to 4-2 on a seven-game trip, which concludes Monday in Los Angeles when O’Neal returns to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
O’Neal, who finished with 14 rebounds, 12 points and three blocks despite getting two fouls early in the first quarter, wasn’t about to hype up his return.
“I think it’s more of TV ratings rivalry rather than a real rivalry. I think if we both make it to the finals a couple of years in a row, then it could be a real rivalry,” O’Neal said.
The Heat can use a day off after winning on back-to-back nights. Miami was coming off a 117-104 victory Friday at Seattle.
“Everybody’s playing the way they’re supposed to play,” said Gary Payton, who finished with 11 points for the Heat. “Everybody’s doing their job. Everybody’s being the role player that they’ve got to be and doing the things they need to do. It helps when you’ve got a lot of veterans on your team.”
Utah could never quite rally from a 10-point deficit early in the fourth quarter, cutting it to three points twice but getting no closer.
“We came out real soft. They put pressure on us and we just kind of would hang out,” Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. “That’s the way we played almost all night long.”
Wade had 15 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 14 assists Friday night in Seattle. He had a shot at another triple-double, but spent much of the last minute at the free throw line and couldn’t reach 10 assists and rebounds.
“No matter what, if it was going right or wrong, or guys were tired, we still got the job done,” Wade said. “It’s a beautiful thing to see guys come into their roles.”
Wade was 5-of-6 from the free throw line in the final minute to clinch it. He finished 11-for-12 from the line and made 10 of 20 field goals.
The Heat won their fourth straight on the road, their longest streak of the season, and did it without point guard Jason Williams, who sat out after playing 36 minutes Friday night in Seattle. Williams has had tendinitis in his right knee.
Wade, Payton and rookie Gerald Fitch, who scored 10, were fine in the Heat’s backcourt without Williams.
Antoine Walker added nine points for the Heat, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers to break open a three-point game early in the fourth.
The Jazz twice closed within three, the second time on a long 3-pointer by Kirilenko with 55 seconds left that made it 95-92. But the Jazz kept sending Wade to the line and he made all but one attempt down the stretch.
Miami beat Utah for the fourth straight time. … The Heat answered Utah’s 9-0 run in the first quarter with 10 straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers by James Posey, who had 17 points and nine rebounds. … Okur had 12 points and eight rebounds in the first quarter. … Matt Harpring made a shot at the end of the first half and it withstood a video review and several protests by the Heat. Replays showed Kirilenko may have touched the ball after the buzzer and before it went in.