Wade scores 43 points, Heat beat Nets 106-103

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)—When Dwyane Wade couldn’t find the scoring range, the Miami Heat slid into a three-game losing streak.

In that slump, Wade had consecutive games in which he failed to crack 20 points. Now that Wade is back in the groove, the Heat have won two in a row.

One night after scoring 35 points to help the Heat beat the Lakers, Wade matched his season high with 43 points to lead Miami to a 106-103 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night.

“That’s just basketball,” Wade said. “Sometimes you are going to struggle. Sometimes you are going to be in the zone. You just have to stick with it. There was a three-game skid of not shooting the ball well. I just kept at it, and it eventually turned around. It’s now two games in a row where I’ve felt very comfortable.”

While making the Nets very uncomfortable.

“You had a great player have an unbelievable performance,” Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. “We tried to throw everything at him. He was relentless. He wouldn’t give up.”

Wade, the NBA’s leading scorer, scored 12 of the Heat’s final 14 points. It was 15th time Wade scored 40 or more points in his career. The Heat improved to 9-3 this season in game in which Wade gets at least 30.

“Obviously, Dwyane made some incredible plays and shots at the end,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “On defense, we got some stops when we really needed them.”

Wade put Miami ahead to stay with a reverse layup with 1:58 remaining for a 98-97 lead.

“It’s the reason he’s leading the league in scoring,” said Devin Harris, who had 21 points for the Nets. “He’s a great player. I’ve seen it first hand.”

Udonis Haslem sealed the win with a jumper from the corner with 14.7 seconds left that put the Heat up by 5.

Daequan Cook had 17 points for the Heat, while Michael Beasley had 11, and Shawn Marion added 10.

Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots, a season high for the rookie. Lopez led the Nets to a season-high 11 blocks.

Vince Carter also had 21 points for New Jersey.

It was a tight game between teams coming off emotional victories the night before. The Nets beat former captain Jason Kidd in their first meeting since the trade that brought Harris to New Jersey, routing Dallas 121-97 at the IZOD Center. In Miami, the Heat prevailed 89-87 over the Lakers, the top team in the Western Conference.

The Heat took a 62-56 lead at the half as Wade topped all scorers with 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Wade added 11 more in the third as the Heat took an 80-77 lead into the final period.

Notes

Bobby Simmons, the Nets’ starting small forward for the first 25 games, sat out because of a scapula injury. Trenton Hassell was the replacement, making his first start since Dec. 12, 2007, when he subbed for Harris when both played for the Mavericks. … For the Heat, James Jones (ruptured wrist tendon) and Dorell Wright (left knee surgery) remain sidelined. … It marked the only time this season the Nets played home games on consecutive nights. New Jersey concludes a four-game homestand Monday against Houston … The game showcased three of the NBA’s top 10 scorers. Coming into the game, Wade led the league, averaging 28.3 points. Harris was fifth at 24.5 while Carter was 10th at 23. … New York Mets general manager Omar Minaya took in the game from a courtside seat. … Jarvis Hayes of the Nets was knocked woozy after a hard collision with Joel Anthony in the fourth quarter and had to be helped to the locker room.

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Saturday, Dec 20