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Wade soars again, leads Heat over Pacers

Nov 23, 2008 - 5:04 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- The longer Dwyane Wade stays on the floor, the more dangerous the Miami Heat get.

The league's second-leading scorer put together another stellar effort Saturday night, collecting 38 points and eight assists to lead the Heat to a 109-100 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Coming into the 2008-09 campaign, the biggest concern surrounding Wade - and the entire organization - was health, as the former NBA Finals MVP has suffered through a litany of nagging injuries over the last two seasons.

But so far, the results have been undeniable - and his patented explosiveness was on display once again Saturday as Miami erased a 15-point lead to get back over the .500 mark.

While the Heat have been erratic from game to game, Wade has been the constant guiding force - and the team has shown signs of cohesiveness as its star's talented supporting cast begins to round into shape.

"Hopefully one day we can put a string together," Wade said. "But right now, we're just going to try and take it one day at a time and try to win each game and try to get better each night. That's all we can do."

Shawn Marion posted 18 points and six steals, rookie forward Michael Beasley added 17 points and Udonis Haslem chipped in with 16 as the Heat put together their biggest offensive output since a season-opening, 120-115 loss to the New York Knicks.

After the Pacers stormed ahead by as many as 15, the Heat whittled the lead down with a strong third quarter. With Indiana clinging to a seven-point lead, the Heat ended the third on a 9-2 run - capped by Chris Quinn's 3-pointer at the buzzer - to pull even at 79-79.

"Most of the second half we were really disruptive and used our energy and quickness and effort," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "You could tell there was a totally different disposition than we had in the first half. That's when we are at our best."

The final frame belonged to Miami - or, more specifically, to Wade. The superstar guard buried a pair of jumpers to push the lead to 87-84, only to see Marquis Daniels tie it back up with a three-point play.

"That's the NBA for you. You could be up one minute and have momentum and it can shift in a heartbeat," Pacers guard T.J. Ford said. "I think tonight, they came out in the third quarter and definitely established a tempo and aggressiveness."

But Wade wasn't done, answering quickly on the other end as he plowed through the middle of the lane for a thunderous dunk to give Miami the lead. Just seconds later, he intercepted Daniels' pass and went the other way for another slam to make it 91-87.

"Tonight our defense was good enough to get us the lead and control of the game," Wade said.

Indiana didn't go away, pulling to within one as Danny Granger's 3-pointer with 2:41 on the clock made it 99-98. But Wade followed with another dunk, Haslem added a dunk of his own and Beasley drained a soft baseline jumper to put the game on ice.

"They came back and got us. I couldn't tell you what it is," Granger said. "Sometimes, it's just been happening to us lately, we get the lead and end up losing the game. Maybe, we should let the other team start winning and we come back at the end."

Daniels led the Pacers with 25 points on 11-of-21 shooting and Granger added 23.

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