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Wade fuels Heat's win at Charlotte

Nov 26, 2006 - 2:53 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade assisted his club in the first half before taking over in the second.

Wade had eight assists in the first half before exploding for 24 of his 35 points after halftime, sparking the Miami Heat to a 102-93 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

Alonzo Mourning scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half for Miami (5-8), which snapped a season-high three-game losing streak and won for just the second time in eight games.

"It was a good win for us," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "I made a point to the team prior to the game that about every week we get a win. So, we got a win this week. ... It was a much-needed win, obviously."

Last in the league in field-goal percentage (41.8), Miami shot a season-high 55 percent (38-of-69) against Charlotte, which came in leading the NBA in field-goal percentage defense (41.8).

Playing its fourth game in five days, Miami was in control for most of the contest before a 13-3 run by Charlotte capped by a half-court lob from Raymond Felton that was jammed home by Gerald Wallace tied the game at 58-58 with 6:13 left in the third quarter.

In his new role as point guard, Wade took over with his electric moves and deft jumper. He converted a pair of three-point plays in the final 38 seconds of the period that rebuilt a 72-66 lead.

"He's our best playmaker out there. His assists are moving up now," Riley said. "We always play him as a (shooting guard) to be a scorer, but now he's becoming a distributor and a facilitator. He's starting to understand that."

"The last couple games when I was on the wing a lot, they were able to trap me and take me out of getting my teammates good shots," Wade said. "But now that I've moved to the top, I'm able to see the floor more and get my teammates some confidence."

Antoine Walker opened the fourth quarter with a layup before Wade gave the Heat a 10-point lead with a jumper. The Bobcats got no closer than five points thereafter as Wade scored 13 points in the period.

Wade shot 10-of-14 from the floor and 15-of-22 from the line in leading the club in scoring for the 10th straight game, tying a club record set by Sherman Douglas in 1991. The 2006 NBA Finals MVP also had 12 assists and five rebounds.

"Right now, I would love to have this many assists every game, moreso than points," Wade said. "I got 35 tonight, but really I wasn't even looking to score. I was just attacking the basket and trying to mix things up."

"When you get to the bottom line, there was no answer for Dwyane Wade," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "They put the ball in his hands and he will get a shot or he will get to the free-throw line. It's deserved. The guy is a great basketball player. We just flat-out did not have an answer for him."

In Friday's loss to Orlando, Wade had 33 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and also shot 20 foul shots.

"He gets all the calls. That's what makes him special," Wallace said. "It's like anybody who is an All-Star or has the potential to be an All-Star that plays against the Bobcats is going to get all the calls. We're not allowed to touch him. Anybody who shoots 22 free throws is ridiculous."

Mourning, who scored a season-high 17 points in 31 minutes Friday, shot 7-of-8 from the floor with four dunks in the first 24 minutes as the Heat took a 51-43 lead. He finished 8-of-9 from the field and is 20-of-30 in his last three games.

"We're just trying to fill the void (of Shaquille O'Neal)," Mourning said. "It's kind of difficult to fill those shoes, to tell you the truth, with all he brings to the table. But we've done a pretty good job with rebounding and clogging up the middle."

Walker, who had just 16 points in his last five games, added 16 and Dorell Wright added a career-high 14 rebounds as Miami improved to 8-1 in the all-time series.

"I got a lot of looks down in the block and got myself going," Walker said. "It's a process, though, when you're struggling offensively like I have over the last five games. You've got to believe and continue to work out of it. I've just got to remember that coach and my teammates still believe in me."

Rookie Adam Morrison tied his season high with 27 points and Matt Carroll added 14 off the bench for the Bobcats, who have lost four of their last five games.

Wallace finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but Emeka Okafor was limited to just nine points on 4-of-11 shooting.

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