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Wade carries Heat to third straight win

Jan 13, 2007 - 7:41 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- The Golden State Warriors had no answer for superstar Dwyane Wade.

Wade was just one assist shy from collecting a triple-double as the Miami Heat coasted to their third consecutive win, a 118-96 triumph over the Warriors.

Last season's NBA Finals MVP, Wade has been rolling in three games since returning from a wrist injury that sidelined him for five contests. He is averaging 28.0 points and 8.3 assists during his hot streak.

"It's way too early to tell but it feels like games of last season where you've got that confidence," Wade said. "You see guys starting to get that swagger back and in this game, swagger is very important. Everyone is going to write us off of course but we want to continue to keep playing and see what comes next."

"Dwyane is a great player," Heat interim coach Ron Rothstein said. "Case closed, big picture, he's just a great player and he's a very unselfish player."

On Friday, the two-time All-Star had 22 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He also collected three blocks.

"(Dwyane's) been a rock for us," Miami center Alzono Mourning said. "We'd be in big big trouble if he wasn't playing the way he is with Shaquille (O'Neal) out."

Wade's 3-pointer from the top of the key highlighted a 10-3 run, allowing Miami to open an 82-67 bulge with 3:21 remaining in the third quarter. He scored 10 points in the period.

Miami closed the second quarter with an aggressive 9-3 surge, grabbing a 64-54 advantage at intermission. Wade scored four of his 12 first-half points during the run.

"We just being aggressive," Wade said. "We kept being aggressive till the very end from the four minute mark in the second quarter to the end of the quarter, we really turned it on. We just made shots, got a 10 point lead within a minute or two and that was a good run for us."

Jason Kapono scored 20 points and Mourning chipped in 19 points, eight rebounds and five blocks for the Heat, which shot 52 percent (45-of-85) from the field and survived 19 turnovers.

Baron Davis had 21 points and 10 assists and rookie Kelenna Azubuike netted 17 points for Golden State, which lost its third straight game.

"We just aren't playing that well right now," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "We seem to be running out of juice on the offensive end. Our offensive game plan depends a lot on our defensive performance and we just aren't getting the steals and rebounds we need in order to be a running team."

Warriors swingman Mickael Pietrus suffered a left sprained ankle early in the opening quarter and did not return. X-rays were negative.

"It's sore and a little stiff right now but it's not as bad as I first thought," Pietrus said. "It's not as bad as the ankle injury I had during my rookie year. It should only be about a week until I return."

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