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Wade returns, but Heat can't rally as Sonics get first win

Nov 15, 2007 - 4:58 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade nearly sparked a remarkable comeback in his return, but it wasn't meant to be.

Wade did his best to help his team rally from a 23-point fourth-quarter deficit, but Chris Wilcox scored 20 points to help the Seattle SuperSonics notch their first win of the season, 104-95, over the struggling Miami Heat on Wednesday.

One night after coach Pat Riley said he could play better than some of his players, Miami shot 37.5 percent (30-of-80) from the field and lost for the seventh time in eight games.

The Heat, who entered averaging a league-worst 83.2 points, hoped Wade's return from offseason shoulder and knee surgeries would help.

A three-time All-Star, Wade scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting with five assists but couldn't help Miami avoid the embarrassment of losing to the league's worst team.

"It felt good to be back, playing the game of basketball," Wade said. "It hurts to lose another ballgame, especially at home in front of our fans."

Seattle broke out of its slump with a big first half, and then avoided a huge collapse. Damien Wilkins scored 13 points and Wilcox added 12 for the Sonics, who shot 49 percent (37-of-75) and held a 61-41 lead at the break.

"We knew this team was struggling," Wilcox said. "So, we knew we had to come out to a good start. Every time they had a spurt, we had to answer with a spurt."

Wilkins scored 19 points and rookie Kevin Durant added 18 for Seattle, which had started the season with a franchise-worst eight straight losses.

"It feels real good," said Durant, who shot just 6-of-16 from the floor. "It feels like we won the World Championship."

Wade scored seven points during a 14-5 run that helped the Heat pull to within 80-68 entering the final period.

"He just takes them to another level," Sonics coach P.J. Carlesimo said of Wade. "D-Wade carried them to a championship - he's that good. Obviously, they're struggling, but they won't be struggling for long."

After Seattle used a 13-0 run to open up a 23-point lead with 8:44 left, Wade led a furious comeback as he recorded all five of his assists during an 18-3 run that saw the Heat pull within 94-86 with 4:22 remaining.

But Delonte West then hit a huge 3-pointer from the left corner to put Seattle up 97-86 with 4:01 left. Wilcox hit a jumper to put Seattle up 99-86 with 3:40 left and Wade exited to a standing ovation with 3:01 remaining.

"Delonte hit that big-time three," Durant said. "After that, we cruised on home."

Wade's much-anticipated return finally came to fruition at the 4:49 mark of the first period and he made his first field goal with 10:31 left in the half.

"Hopefully, we can build on a lot of things," Wade said. "I'm a leader of the team and I'm going to continue to push guys every day."

He helped Miami rally from an early 10-point deficit by scoring seven points on 2-of-3 shooting in nine first-half minutes. But the 2006 Finals MVP went to the bench for the first time at the 7:12 mark, and Seattle used a 25-9 run to take a commanding lead.

Ricky Davis scored 19 points and Shaquille O'Neal battled foul trouble and finished with just 10 for Miami, which was just 7-of-26 from the arc.

And the poor shooting negated Wade's fourth-quarter heroics.

"He's amazing," Durant said. "I think he's one of the best players to ever play the game."

"He looked great," Davis said. "That's what we need."

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