SEATTLE (AP) -- Dwyane Wade's fourth quarter performance was
proof that four games off was the remedy the All-Star needed to
regain his explosiveness.
Content to get others involved in the first half, Wade scored 14
of his 29 points in the final 8 minutes of Miami's 107-103 win over
the Seattle SuperSonics on Wednesday night.
Saying his energy level was the best all season, Wade scored 25
second-half points to go along with 13 assists in leading Miami to
its second straight win.
"Coming out and setting my teammates up I didn't have to use a
lot of energy early on and that enabled me to save a lot for later
in the game when they needed me to attack," Wade said.
Wade made 8 of 16 shots and was 13-for-17 at the free-throw
line. Jason Kapono added 19 points and former Seattle star Gary
Payton added 14 off the bench.
Wade missed four games recently with a sprained right wrist, and
returned on Sunday at Portland, scoring 33 points against the
Blazers, taking control of the offense early on.
Wade patiently distributed to shooters Kapono and Jason Williams
in the first half, handing out nine assists. Combined with Payton's
10 points off the bench, the Heat were able to stay close enough
for Wade to take control in the final 24 minutes.
"He was pacing himself in the first half ... and he was getting
everybody shots," Miami coach Ron Rothstein said. "He was just
letting the game come to him."
Wade scored eight of Miami's first 11 points of the second half
and then saved his best for the closing minutes.
Wade's 15-footer with 4:52 left gave the Heat a 93-91 lead.
After Seattle pulled even at 93, Wade made a 21-footer with Earl
Watson in his face. The capper was a dribble-drive through
Seattle's defense, finished with a left-handed scoop shot that gave
Miami the lead for good at 97-95.
"He's great and great players on the road -- which Dwyane did --
he took over the game and we had very little answers," Seattle
interim coach Gordon Chiesa said. Chiesa was filling in for Bob
Hill who has a respiratory infection.
"We tried every possible defense ever invented by mankind as
far as trying to slow him down and he still was sensational."
Wade added four free throws in the final 2 minutes, Alonzo
Mourning and Udonis Haslem made a pair, and Payton capped the
victory with an uncontested layup with 13 seconds left.
"It's always special to come back to Seattle," Payton said.
The 14 points were two off a season-high. "I was here for a long
time. I still love these fans and the fans still love me."
Ray Allen made a pair of 3-pointers in the closing seconds for
the final margin. Allen led Seattle with 29 points and Chris Wilcox
added 28 points and 13 rebounds, but Seattle still lost its sixth
straight and eighth in nine games.
"I'm just a little upset that we couldn't get a win tonight,"
Wilcox said. "I think we played hard for four quarters and I just
think you got to find out what it is in these last two minutes. ...
We've got to dig deep and find some answers."
Williams scored 11 of his 14 points in the first half and Haslem
added 13 for the Heat.
Nick Collison scored 21 points and had nine rebounds for Seattle
before fouling out, backing up his career-high 29-point, 21-rebound
effort of Tuesday night against Phoenix.
Rothstein improved to 2-2 as Miami's interim coach while Pat
Riley is on medical leave, and bested Chiesa, who was handling head
coaching duties for the first time in his career as an NBA
assistant. Hill hopes to be able to coach Friday when Seattle hosts
Seattle sent rookie C Mouhamed Sene to the Idaho Stampede
of the NBA Developmental League. Sene had played in just 16 games
and was averaging 0.9 points and 1.1 rebounds. ... Seattle, who has
lost 12 straight away from home, doesn't play another road game
until Jan. 30 at Dallas.