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Wade returns to help Heat snap five-game skid

Jan 8, 2007 - 7:22 AM PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade covers up a lot of shortcomings for the Miami Heat.

Wade returned from injury to score 33 points and help the Heat snap a five-game losing streak with a 93-90 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

A wrist injury had sidelined Wade for five games and Miami, already without superstar center Shaquille O'Neal, lost every game without its All-Star guard.

After scoring 25 points in the first half, Wade appeared to tire after intermission. He has just one field goal in the second half until the game was on the line, then responded with his team's final six points as the Heat beat the Blazers for the fourth straight time.

"That Wade kid, I think we'll keep him," Heat acting coach Ron Rothstein said. "He was visibly tired, that's why I pulled him in the third quarter. He couldn't catch his breath. But I would say that he responded very well."

Wade hit his first five shots from the field and scored 13 first-quarter points, but Blazers rookie Brandon Roy nearly matched him with 12 of his own to help Portland to a 30-22 lead.

The Heat were unable to cut into the deficit despite 12 second-quarter points from Wade. Rookie LaMarcus Aldridge, this year's No. 2 pick, scored 10 of his season-high 14 points to keep the Trail Blazers in front at halftime, 60-52.

"The first half was nice for me," Wade said. "In the second half, I could tell that I was off for 10 days, I will tell you that. It felt good to get back and help give my teammates some confidence, which we have been lacking a little bit."

Portland carried a 77-69 lead into the final quarter, but managed just 13 points in the final 12 minutes.

Jason Kapono scored 10 points in the fourth, including two big 3-pointers to finally give the Heat the lead.

"I finally started making some shots," Kapono said. "I was a slug in the first quarter and first half. I got a nice little flow there and hit a couple jumpers and that kinda got me back in rhythm and guys did a nice job of setting screens and finding me."

Zach Randolph scored after each Kapono 3-pointer to regain the lead from the Blazers, but Heat center Alonzo Mourning hit a hook shot in the lane and Wade dunked for a 89-86 lead with 1:16 left.

Wade, who finished 9-of-17 from the field, then nailed four free throws in the final 23 seconds to wrap up the victory for Miami, which shot 46 percent (32-of-69).

"The wrist felt pretty good," Wade said. "I ended up shooting the ball well. I didn't have any problems with it. I made sure when I fell that I fell on other parts of my body. Going into the game, I didn't want to think about it too much. At the same time, it's not 100 percent so I didn't want to do too much with it."

Roy scored 18 points and Randolph added 15 for Portland, which made just 6-of-23 shots in the decisive fourth quarter.

"We had control of that game and we played real good basketball for most of the game," Roy said. "But give them credit, they are a team that has been to a championship and they know how to tighten up on defense when it comes down to the end and that's what they did."