The Miami Heat star played every minute of the second half on his way to a 40-point game, including a jumper with 25 seconds left that gave Miami the lead for good on the way to a 93-89 win against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
A day after playing nearly 38 minutes and scoring 23 in a fast-paced game against Phoenix, Wade didn’t even think about taking a rest. At one point in the second half, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra looked to his star to ask if he wanted a breather. Wade made eye contact and shook off his coach’s suggestion.
“I ain’t going nowhere,” said Wade, explaining his thought process after the game.
His coach thought about it and knew he was fine leaving his star on the court.
“I decided they probably weren’t going to take out their guys, either,” Spoelstra said.
Wade outdueled Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas(notes), who scored 32, in a game that was deadlocked down the stretch until the final minute. With the game tied at 89 and a minute left, Wade made plays when he needed to and Arenas couldn’t answer.
“This was one of those games where you have to will your team to victory as the leader,” Wade said. “As the guy they look to, I took it upon myself to get the job done.”
Wade got the job done on 14 of 26 shooting. Despite his point total, Arenas shot 9 for 27 from the field.
Arenas lost the ball on a layup with 17 seconds left after Wade’s jumper, falling hard to the ground after driving through traffic. After a Wade free throw to put Miami up 92-89, Arenas attempted to lob a ball to Brendan Haywood(notes) that bounced off the basket to end Washington’s chances.
“It hit the rim,” Arenas said. “That’s it. It’s not rocket science—it hit the rim.”
The tight final minutes came after Miami opened up a point early lead. Haywood opened the game with a dunk, but the Wizards didn’t hold the lead again until Haywood’s hook shot at 6:28 left in the third quarter gave Washington a 57-56 edge.
The rest of the quarter belonged to the team’s dueling stars. Arenas scored nine of Washington’s final 13 points in the third quarter. Wade outdid him, tallying Miami’s final 10 points, including a last-second layup to tie the game at 66 entering the fourth quarter.
“At one point during the game, I told him, ‘This is what you do,”’ Richardson said. “‘We’re right here. Now, you take us home.”’
Miami had led by as many as 19 in the opening quarter, going up 27-8 with 3 1/2 minutes left in the first. The Heat led 50-41 at halftime.
“It’s amazing as bad as we were in the first quarter they only scored 93 in the game,” Washington coach Flip Saunders said.
NOTES: Miami G Daequan Cook(notes) sat out his third straight game with a right shoulder strain. … This was the first of three meetings between the teams in November. They play again in Miami on Nov. 10. … Miami swept the series (4-0) last season. … Haywood was given a technical foul for hanging on the rim after a third-quarter dunk.