for this game

Wade outduels Bryant as Heat beat Lakers

Dec 25, 2006 - 11:36 PM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Even Kobe Bryant has little success guarding Dwyane Wade.

Defended by fellow star guard Bryant, Wade collected a season-high 40 points and 11 assists as the Miami Heat posted a 101-85 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"(Kobe) was chasing Dwyane Wade all night long," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said. "We tried about four different things to try and stop Dwyane Wade, but none of them seemed to work."

Bryant was greatly impressed by Wade's performance.

"He is a hell of, hell of a young player," Bryant said. "He's really matched for coming off those screen-and-rolls and attacking. He's a phenomenal, phenomenal player."

The reigning NBA Finals MVP, Wade also was a terror on the defensive end, registering five blocks and four steals, although he usually did not guard Bryant directly.

Fighting flu-like symptoms and stingy defense by Gary Payton and Dorell Wright, Bryant mustered just 16 points on 4-of-17 shooting as the Lakers fell to the Heat on Christmas for a third straight year.

"You have to let it go," Bryant said. "It was disappointing, but we have two more games on this trip. It's a long season. We are 18-10. Now it is time to move on."

Wade produced 12 points and Wright eight of his 10 in the first period to help the Heat open a 30-16 advantage.

"Dwyane attacked the big men and he made plays out of that," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "He did a great job of making every right play. He reminded me a little of Steve Nash today. Every play Steve Nash makes is the right play and (today) Dwyane made every right play."

"I felt like the quarterback today," Wade said. "Coach gave me the ball a lot to run the team and today I made the right decisions. But the main thing is my teammates got open. ... They made me look even better."

Los Angeles pulled within five points late in the second quarter before settling for a 47-40 halftime deficit. Miami took a 74-64 cushion into the fourth quarter and led by at least eight points thereafter.

"I told my coaches at halftime that I thought I would stay in the locker room and watch 'A Christmas Carol,' and they could go out and do the rest of this game the way we were playing out there," Jackson said. "I did not feel we were right from the opening tip in this game."

The Heat, who won their fourth straight home game, had been 0-9 against teams with winning records. They have won four of five overall to improve to 13-14 on the campaign.

"We're trying to turn that corner, for the most part," Heat forward James Posey said. "We have spurts of things that we're doing really well, we just have to do a better job of being consistent with it. ... Once we turn that corner, we'll be able to take off."

  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 85

    Dec 25 5:04 PM

  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 64

    Dec 25 4:30 PM

  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 40

    Dec 25 3:42 PM

  • NBA
    LA LAKERS 16

    Dec 25 3:02 PM