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Wade helps Heat capture sixth straight home win

Feb 14, 2007 - 7:47 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- A shoulder injury did not keep superstar Dwyane Wade from taking control in the final quarter.

Wade scored 16 of his 35 points in the fourth period as the Miami Heat recorded their sixth consecutive home win, a 104-85 triumph over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Wade, who was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the second straight week on Monday, left for the locker room with a bruised left shoulder after falling on a driving layup at the 9:36 mark in the third quarter.

The award made Wade as the only player in franchise history to have captured the honor in consecutive weeks.

But the injury could not keep the three-time All-Star off the court, returning with 1:59 to go in the third to help Miami win for the seventh time in eight games.

"When I fell I hyperextended it," Wade said. "I heard it pop. I didn't have any strength in it, so we had to take a look. I was never worried about not coming back; I knew I would be OK."

"I wasn't surprised he (Wade) came back," Miami interim coach Ron Rothstein said. "I expected him to come back. It's probably not fair, but that's my thought process. I probably looked at the tunnel about seven times. I caught myself looking back and stopped myself and said I have to pay attention to the game."

Juan Dixon's 3-pointer brought the Trail Blazers within 79-75 with 9:14 left. But Wade answered with eight straight points during a 10-2 run, pushing the lead to 89-77 with 6:26 left.

"I had my rhythm still," Wade said. "I just kept it going."

"Every time we would get close it was like he (Wade) would flip a switch," Portland coach Nate McMillan said. "The game looks very easy to him. He is very strong and confident. He is just determined; you can see it in his game. One or two guys are not going to stop him. He takes a hard fall to the floor and you think that he is gone. He comes back into the game, that he knows is important, and leads the team."

Portland did not recover, suffering its second straight season series sweep to Miami.

The victory also helped the Heat reach .500 for the first time since being 3-3 on November 12.

"We are going in the right direction," Miami swingman James Posey said. "It's all about positioning ourselves right now. We just have to come back focused (after the break) and not forget how we got back to the .500 level. We need to continue to play together, play hard and grind it out."

"I am just glad we won," Rothstein said. "We kept talking about it and this is our launching pad for us after the break."

Udonis Haslem netted 12 points and Posey added 11 and eight rebounds for the Heat, who tied a franchise record with 14 blocks.

Zach Randolph scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack chipped in 16 for Portland, which shot 42 percent (33-of-78) from the field and committed 17 turnovers.

"We can't win many games with 15-20 turnovers," McMillan said. "Last game we had 20 turnovers, (Tuesday) we had 17. You are spotting these guys, who are champions, 27 points when you do that."

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