SEATTLE (AP)—Dwyane Wade, still healing more than six months after a pair of offseason surgeries, isn’t sure how close he is to his championship form from two years ago.
The Seattle SuperSonics couldn’t detect any drop-off Friday night.
Wade scored 31 points to lead the Heat (11-52) to a 103-93 victory, just their third in the last 30 games. Miami snapped a 14-game road losing streak.
Wade, who had consecutive sub-20-point games this week for the first time this season, had been criticized by TV analyst and former player Reggie Miller. Miller said it appeared to him that Wade was only about 60 percent of his old self.
“Tell Reggie to meet me at the gym in Miami and see what percentage I am,” said Wade, more playful than pointed. “We’ll go from there. I’m not 100 (percent), but I’m not 60.”
Before the game, coach Pat Riley also admitted that Wade is not 100 percent but bristled at criticism of his star guard. Riley said Wade’s still recovering from left knee and left shoulder surgeries but added, “If this thing gets further away from us, then I think it would be prudent to say, ‘We’ve got to take care of our best asset.”’
That might suggest that Wade would be benched to rest at some point before the season ends, but Wade isn’t interested in that.
“If I’m going to play, I’m going to play. I’m not going to come out and play 20-minute games,” Wade said. “I want to play my 35, 40 minutes a night and try to help my team win. It’s not my job to look at the draft and what position we’re in.
“My teammates told me last game as I go, they go. They follow my lead so I have to come out here and have them follow my lead the right way.”
“I’m trying to do whatever I can to fit in,” said Marion, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds. “I have to do what I have to do to help this team. Everyone puts the emphasis on scoring but you could score 40 points and still lose, so what difference does it make?
“I need to help my teammates and do what’s positive on the floor. That’s what happened tonight. I think everyone got a smell for it. That’s how we came back.”
The Sonics (15-43) were coming off the fourth-worst defeat in franchise history, 138-96 to Denver on Wednesday. It was the most points allowed by any team this season. They didn’t have enough defense down the stretch Friday to stop the team with the worst record in the NBA.
Seattle had a 10-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter when the Heat turned things around. Marcus Banks and Ricky Davis hit successive 3-pointers to trigger a run, and Banks gave the Heat a 77-76 lead with 7 seconds left in the period on a three-point play.
Marion scored eight points in the final quarter—six on second-chance baskets.
“I thought we had a hell of a game until the fourth quarter, until the last couple minutes,” said Wilcox, who had touches of the flu. “Then we just fell away.”
Guard Earl Watson said part of the problem was the Sonics allowed more shots, especially second-chance shots. The Heat had a 17-8 edge in offensive rebounds and a 95-76 advantage in shots taken.
“Miami is a halfcourt team,” Watson said. “For them to get 20 more shots, that can’t happen. They played well down the stretch. They executed really well.”
Seattle held a 10-point lead midway through the first half, but the Heat closed strong, narrowing the margin to 47-44 by halftime. Wade had 17 points in the half, while Wilcox had 16.
Before the game, the Sonics signed veteran point guard Mike Wilks to a 10-day contract. Wilks, who was not with any team, had been working out at his home in Huntsville, Ala. He played with the Sonics last season, appearing in 47 games and averaging 3.7 points. … G Earl Watson, who missed the previous two games with the flu, returned to the starting lineup. Guard Luke Ridnour, who sat out the second half of Wednesday’s game with a tight hamstring, also played. … Heat forward Udonis Haslem, who has a high left angle sprain, sat out Friday’s game. Riley said he could have played but didn’t want to push him on back-to-back nights.