“We still had a chance,” Wade said.
Where there’s a Wade, there’s a way.
Wade scored 19 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, 14 of those in the final 4 1/2 minutes, and the Heat rallied to beat the New Jersey Nets 99-94 on Monday night to stay perfect at home this season. He entered the game 0-for-9 from 3-point range this season, but connected on four against the Nets, including three from beyond the arc during the frantic comeback.
“I didn’t need to use them yet,” Wade said. “But tonight, I brought them out.”
And just in time for the Heat, who improved to 3-0 at home for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
Michael Beasley scored 29 points and Daequan Cook added 15 for the Heat, who scored 26 points off turnovers and went 25-for-26 from the foul line—including a game-sealing 6-for-6 effort by Chris Quinn in the final 12.9 seconds.
“I guess I’ve got to be careful what I wish for,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “On the plane ride back the other night and then the staff meeting this morning, I was telling everybody that we really needed another grind-out game where it’s ugly, where we’re behind, where we have to fight for it. … I didn’t mean tonight.”
Yi Jianlian made a career-best five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who got 22 points from Vince Carter. New Jersey led by 10 after Carter connected on a 3-pointer—one of 13 by the Nets—with 5:48 left, but got outscored 26-11 the rest of the way.
“Sure, you feel confident,” Carter said, “but you can never count them out when D-Wade is on the court.”
Carter’s layup with 32.5 seconds left drew New Jersey within one, but Wade calmly made a 15-footer from the right side 9 seconds later, and the Heat held on from there. Down by three, New Jersey had one more chance, but Carter was called from traveling with 6.7 seconds left—the Nets’ 19th turnover—and the outcome was sealed.
“We built a nice lead but couldn’t get the job done,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.
Yi’s 3-point barrage was a surprise. Entering Monday, in his first 71 NBA appearances, Yi had never made more than two 3-pointers in a game.
He then made three in a 3 1/2 -minute span of the third quarter alone.
Yi’s newly found long-range game fueled a quick 16-5 burst by the Nets, who saw a one-point lead transformed into a 64-52 advantage with 3:31 left in the period. And after Carter connected on—what else?—another 3-pointer over Wade’s outstretched arm with 5:48 left, the Nets had what seemed like a perfectly comfortable 83-73 lead.
Someone forgot to tell Wade it was over.
He scored eight straight points in a 79-second span, starting with a 3-pointer that banked in off the glass and left him shaking his head in disbelief.
“It definitely ignited us,” Spoelstra said.
A pair of free throws and another 3-pointer—this one swished—later, and the Heat were at 85-84 with 3:09 remaining.
After being on the other end of the Hack-a-Shaq for so long when Shaquille O’Neal was with Miami, the Heat went to the Hack-a-Boone and sent the Nets’ notoriously bad foul-shooting Josh Boone to the line with 3:03 left, shortly after Boone airballed one from the stripe.
He made one of two, and when Cook drove the lane for a layup with 2:05 left, the game was tied at 86.
Wade made a pair of free throws with 1:07 left, giving Miami its first lead since the opening seconds of the second half, and the Heat never trailed again. Afterward, as has become common in Miami, Wade’s teammates only marveled at what they’d just seen.
“Did you see the fourth? I mean, wow,” Beasley said. “He’s such a great player and he showed again tonight, even when he’s sluggish for the first two, three quarters, he’s going to finish with a bang.”
The Nets were again without point guard Devin Harris, who missed his second straight game with a sprained left ankle. Miami played with Shawn Marion in street clothes because of a sore groin sustained in Saturday’s loss at New Orleans. … Heat guard Mario Chalmers took a shot to the nose in the first quarter and played a bit with cotton packed in his left nostril. … Wade’s mother, Jolinda, sat in a seat along one of the baselines, next to her daughter Tragil.