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Wade scores 32 as Heat quiet Thunder

Jan 19, 2009 - 4:42 AM OKLAHOMA CITY (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade led five players in double figures with 32 points as the Miami Heat cruised past the Oklahoma City Thunder, 104-94, on Sunday.

Yakhouba Diawara started in place of Shawn Marion and added 14 points for the Heat, who finished up their six-game road trip with a 4-2 record.

Marion, who has been the subject of persistent trade rumors - most recently with the Toronto Raptors as his landing place - was held out of the lineup, adding fuel to speculation that he and Marcus Banks will be headed to Canada in exchange for Jermaine O'Neal. Banks also did not play.

"In some ways I think that was one of, if not our biggest character win of the season," Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said. "We had so many banged up guys, so much adversity. I mean, minutes before tipoff I didn't know if I was going to have Udonis (Haslem) for tonight after the hard spill he took in Houston. We didn't have Shawn (Marion) and you could tell that Dwyane (Wade) was extremely sore and beat up.

"Plus this is one of the toughest places to play, last night of a long road trip. We had so much working against us. I was proud of our guys, and especially our bench finding a way to make plays and help us win."

But Wade did not appear to need Marion much on Sunday anyway, pouring in 21 points in the first half and finishing with 10 assists and three blocked shots. The All-Star guard leads the NBA in scoring at 28.8 points per game.

"I took it upon myself to come out and make sure that there wasn't a let down at the end of this long road trip," Wade said. "I came out aggressive, and after that everyone else started chipping in. You don't want to come out and not bring effort against a team with only eight wins. Even though they are playing better and have a few big wins in the last couple games, we needed to come out and not be another notch in their belt."

Kevin Durant scored 31 points and Jeff Green added 22 to lead the Thunder, who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

"You can't beat yourself up over it, but it is disappointing," Oklahoma City interim coach Scott Brooks said. "That's human nature, and that's how this league operates. Anyone can beat anyone on any given night, but if you don't come with the right mental focus and energy, you can't beat anyone."

Miami led, 86-73, after rookie Michael Beasley knocked down a pair of free throws to begin the fourth quarter before the Thunder went on an 8-0 run - fueled by a pair of Durant 3-pointers - to pull back within 86-81.

Oklahoma City was still within five at 90-85 with 7:24 remaining before Wade started padding his assist total, hitting Mario Chalmers twice and Daequan Cook once with passes that led to 3-pointers and pushed the lead back to 101-87 with 3:51 left.

"So much of our offense runs through him, and late in the game our guys did a great job of running sixteen, twenty, twenty-two seconds off the clock before getting a great look and knocking down shots," Spoelstra said. "Dwyane facilitated so much of that. And when he is healthy, he makes us our offense go so well."

"In our offense I have the ball in my hands a lot," Wade said. "And while I may take 20-plus shots a game, I can make good things happen if guys work to get open. Tonight we did that. We moved the ball well and our guys knocked down shots when I got it to them."

The Heat finished 41-of-85 (48 percent) from the field, 11-of-21 from beyond the arc and 11-of-14 from the free-throw line.

"I think we gave them a lot of extra possessions, they outworked us at times," Durant said. "It's one of those nights where you look at the stat sheet and wonder, 'how did they beat us?'

"Overall we played OK. We could have played a lot better, but the one thing you have to pinpoint is that they played harder than we did. We had energy in spurts, but I think that is just part of our learning curve. We had played so well these last couple games that I think we got complacent tonight."

  • 20
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    Heat 104, Thunder 94  FinalJan 19 1:27 PM
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