MIAMI (AP)—Dwyane Wade picked up right where he left off after missing two games.
Wade, who sat out the last two games after having his wisdom teeth pulled, scored a season-high 41 points to lead the Heat to a 98-90 victory over Memphis on Saturday night to hand the Grizzlies their sixth straight loss.
“I couldn’t wait to get back,” Wade said. “The rest was good, but I love the game. I was excited to be out there again and helping the team. It was a joy to get back on the court and contribute.”
Wade, who matched his previous season high with 37 points against Toronto in his last game on Monday, shot 15-for-24 from the field and added five rebounds and seven assists.
“It was like he went home and took a long night’s sleep, and now he’s up, refreshed and ready to go,” Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
“Bottom line, we want a win, and we’re having a hard time doing that right now but we’re getting better,” said Dahntay Jones, who scored 15 points. “If you can get better while losing, that’s what we’re doing.”
Pau Gasol, playing his second game after missing the Grizzlies’ first 22 due to a broken bone in his foot, scored 11 points in 17 minutes.
“It was better, definitely better than (Friday) night,” Gasol said. “My legs were dealing with the back-to-back game, and I was a little sore. I felt much better. I had better rhythm, was faster reacting.”
“This is the first time Dorell has played like this in a week or 10 days— with a lot of passion,” Heat coach Pat Riley said.
Even without the sidelined Shaquille O’Neal, the Heat outscored Memphis in the paint, 56-34.
Miami scored the final six points of the third quarter to go ahead 80-69. Wade had 12 points in the period.
The Heat then started the fourth quarter with a 7-2 run that forced Memphis to call a timeout. The Grizzlies never really threatened after that.
Miami held a 54-47 halftime lead thanks to Wade’s 20 points.
“I came out early (before the game) and got some shooting in and tried to get in a rhythm,” Wade said. “I think that helped once the game started.”
Wade scored 11 points and was the only Miami player to go all 12 minutes as the Heat took a 28-26 lead after one quarter.
Wade scored 37 points three times this season. His career-high is 48 points at Philadelphia on April 14, 2005.
Grizzlies G Damon Stoudamire (sore right knee) did not dress. He’s listed as day-to-day. … Gasol scored four points in 17 minutes during Friday night’s loss to Atlanta. … Memphis entered the game ranked 30th in first-quarter scoring and third in fourth-quarter scoring. … Wade excited the crowd early in the second quarter, when he dribbled behind his back before sinking a reverse layup.