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Wade's fourth-quarter outburst carries Heat past Cavs

Feb 2, 2007 - 7:52 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- The fourth-quarter legend of Dwyane Wade continues to grow.

Wade scored 24 of his season-high 41 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat rallied for a 92-89 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who had LeBron James back in the lineup.

A three-time All-Star, Wade connected on 9-of-20 shots and made 23-of-24 free throws for his third 40-point performance of the season. He also had five assists and four rebounds.

"My teammates kept me confident, especially GP (Gary Payton) telling me to be more aggressive offensively," Wade said. "I was getting to the paint, but I wasn't looking to score. I was looking to pass. I knew it was a matter of time before I got going."

It was the highest fourth-period output by a member of the Heat since Wade scored 21 points during last season's 106-99 loss at Cleveland on April 1, which was a franchise best.

Despite his offensive outburst, Wade struggled taking care of the ball, committing a franchise-record and league-worst 12 turnovers.

"When someone has the ball as much as me, you're going to turn the ball over," Wade said. "I just kept playing. You never know which way it's going to turn. Fortunately, it turned out good for me."

In the fourth quarter, James snapped a 78-78 tie when he converted a three-point play and fouled out All-Star center Shaquille O'Neal with 3:14 remaining.

James had missed Tuesday's win against Golden State because of a sore right big toe. On Thursday, the 23-year-old finished with 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds.

Wade answered with a jumper and two free throws to make it 82-81, but Cavaliers rookie Daniel Gibson drained a 3-pointer from the left corner. Wade converted two more from the line with 1:23 to go, tying the game once again at 84-84.

After James missed a pair of foul shots, Wade converted a three-point play with 46 seconds remaining.

But James pulled Cleveland within 90-89 with a long shot from the arc that bounced in with just three seconds left. Wade then made two free throws to rebuild a three-point edge.

The Cavs had one last chance to tie the game, but James misfired as time expired, handing Cleveland its eighth straight loss in South Beach.

"We had a lot of chances. I take full responsibility for this loss," James said. "I had a lot of chances to put us up two or tie the game, and I didn't make a lot of plays for our team to win down the stretch. As a leader, I didn't come through down the stretch, so I definitely take full responsibility and I owe my team one."

O'Neal had 16 points and eight rebounds in his first game after missing two straight for the Heat, who shot 45 percent (30-of-66) from the field.

"We just kept talking about getting stops," O'Neal said. "We didn't have too great of an offensive night, so we just had to get stops."

Gibson scored a season-high 19 points and Drew Gooden added 11 and nine rebounds for Cleveland, which led by as many as 12 points in the final quarter.

"I think it was a good game, an exciting game," Gooden said. "We put up a fight and we played a lot better than we did that last time we played in this building, when we lost by 30 points."

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