Final / 3OT
1:00 PM ET, March 14, 2009
AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL
Wade finished with 50 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in another dazzling show, Jermaine O'Neal added 28 points and the Heat pulled off two huge last-ditch rallies before beating the Utah Jazz in a triple-overtime epic, 140-129 on Saturday.
"Just another day at the office," Wade said.
Heat guard Dwyane Wade was an assist short of a triple-double in Saturday's win over the Jazz. But he scored 50 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in triple OT. It puts him among some elite players at his position.
It was the first time either team played three overtimes since 1992. The Heat were one point shy of matching the franchise's all-time best, and Miami's Erik Spoelstra became just the 11th coach to win the first five overtime games of his career.
But in the end, that all paled besides Wade's ever-growing list of accomplishments.
Wade tied his career high in scoring, set new bests in minutes (52½), field goals made (19) and attempted (39), plus passed Alonzo Mourning to become Miami's all-time points leader.
"We made them work for everything," Wade said. "It was a total team effort."
Mario Chalmers scored 23 points for Miami, which shot 35-for-39 from the foul line and moved a season-high seven games over .500 (36-29). The Heat also got back within 1½ games of Atlanta for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and improved to 5-0 in overtime this season.
Deron Williams scored 30 points and had 13 assists for the Jazz, who also got a season-high 25 points from Kyle Korver, along with seven rebounds and six assists. Carlos Boozer finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Jazz.
"We did a how-to on how to lose a basketball game, pretty much," Williams said. "Fouling when we don't need to, trying to score when we definitely don't need to, instead of using our clock. It wasn't very smart."
The Heat erased a seven-point deficit in the final 55 seconds of regulation, then gave up the first eight points of the first overtime before roaring back again, and eventually took control. Miami outscored Utah 15-4 in the third OT.
"We knew if we were able to get into overtime, we'd have a chance to win it," O'Neal said. "Unfortunately, it went three overtimes."
The second overtime had five ties, the last coming when Williams hit a jumper with 3.4 seconds left.
But the last period was all Miami.
"We should have won it an hour ago," Korver said.
Down the stretch, Heat players and coaches acknowledged thinking about the six-overtime matchup Syracuse and Connecticut played Thursday night in the Big East quarterfinals.
"I was thinking about Syracuse," Haslem said, "and I was like, 'No, we ain't going six.' "
Utah was on the cusp of winning twice, first in regulation, then again in the first overtime.
Of course, by the time the game ended, those leads seemed like distant memories.
"I think our fans now are getting a little bit spoiled," Spoelstra said. "We're trying to win them back and give them something to remember every time out. I think they got their money's worth."
In regulation, the Jazz led 107-100 with 55 seconds left, before getting outscored 7-0. Chalmers made two free throws, Wade found Haslem for a dunk, and suddenly it was 107-104. O'Neal blocked a dunk by Paul Millsap at the other end, and James Jones made three free throws in the final 16.3 seconds.
"We played right into their hands," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
It was just getting started.
The first overtime began with Korver and Mehmet Okur making 3-pointers, and the Jazz were up 115-107 with 1:45 left. Back came Miami -- Wade found O'Neal inside, scored the next four points himself, and Haslem tied it on two free throws with 22.1 seconds remaining.
"There's an element of resiliency with this team that we've talked about all year," Spoelstra said. "There's a toughness. They just don't give up."
At first, Spoelstra probably was wondering if Miami would show up.
The early start -- 11 a.m. for those watching in Salt Lake City -- did nothing to slow the Jazz.
Utah made 12 of its first 18 shots and outrebounded Miami 14-6 in the first quarter. Andrei Kirilenko scored the first basket of the second quarter for a 31-19 Utah lead, which was significant: The Jazz hadn't lost any game this season in which they led by more than 10 points.
About 2½ hours later, that would change.
Wade scored 10 points in the second quarter to get Miami to 55-51 at the half, and he added 10 more in the third as the Heat took an 83-80 lead.
Little did anyone know, the game was just beginning.
"I'm ready to go lay down," Wade said.
A pregame moment of silence was held to remember Detroit Pistons owner Bill Davidson, who died Friday. His death came less than a month after longtime Jazz owner Larry Miller died following complications related to diabetes. ... O'Neal has already taken 10 charges since being traded to Miami, which tied him with Chalmers for second-most on the Heat this season. ... Korver has scored at least 16 points six times this season, with four of those coming in the last month.
Team Stat Comparison
|FGM-FGA||49-101 (.485)||48-104 (.462)|
|3PM-3PA||9-20 (.450)||9-27 (.333)|
|FTM-FTA||22-28 (.786)||35-39 (.897)|
|Fast Break Points||11||19|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||31 (0/0)||21 (1/0)|