The New Jersey Nets have been struggling with their three-point shooting all season. So, naturally, they decided to rain threes down on the Heat from every angle imaginable inside the American Airlines Arena last night, connecting on a season-high thirteen of them. Five of those three-pointers came from Yi Jianlian, the seven-foot forward from China. With a jump shot like Larry Bird and a body like one of those talking trees from Lord of the Rings, Jianlian was able to grab 10 rebounds to add to his 24 points on the night, leading the Nets to a 12-point lead in the third quarter. In the fourth, with just 5:48 left to play, Nets star Vince Carter hit yet another three for New Jersey, giving them an 83-73 lead.
To make matters worse, Dwayne Wade struggled from the field with a measly 2-10 shooting, while Shawn Marion sat on the sidelines in street clothes nursing a groin injury. But after seeing all those three pointers falling for the Nets, and after being frustrated with constant double-teams throughout the game, Wade decided to remind himself that he is, in fact, Dwyane Wade, and proceeded to dominate. D-Wade dropped 19 points in the fourth quarter – 14 of them in the last five minutes of the game. He also hit three three-pointers of his own in the 4th, fueling Miami’s big comeback on his way to his third consecutive 30-point game. With 32 seconds remaining in regulation, Carter connected on a quick layup, bringing New Jersey to within one. But Flash answered with a 15-footer on the very next possession, and the Heat never looked back after that. Final score: Miami 99 – New Jersey 94. Shit and yea.
It was vintage D-Wade. Greatness personified. He scored eight straight points in a span of 79 seconds and delivered a much-needed character building come-from-behind win for this young Miami Heat team, while keeping them perfect at home. In the end, it was Carter who said it best: "Sure, you feel confident. But you can never count them out when D-Wade is on the court.”
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-- Chris Joseph