Dwyane Wade (hip) leaves game
DALLAS -- When the Miami Heat won their NBA title in Dallas five years ago, then-coach Pat Riley famously packed "one suit, one shirt, one tie" for that trip.
Dwyane Wade tried to add "one leg" to that list of Heat lore.
I don't talk about injuries. ... I don't have no excuses. I was on the court. I was able to help my team get an opportunity to win and I'll be fine Sunday.” -- Dwyane Wade
He almost pulled it off, too.
Playing through a bruised left hip that left him at one point prone on the court with a towel over his grimacing face, Wade scored a team-high 23 points in Game 5 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night. It wasn't enough for the Heat, who fell 112-103 to the Dallas Mavericks -- and now trail the best-of-seven title series 3-2.
"I don't talk about injuries," Wade said. "It's unfortunate that I had to leave the game, but I came back and I finished it. ... Once you're on the court, you're on the court. I don't have no excuses. I was on the court. I was able to help my team get an opportunity to win and I'll be fine Sunday."
Game 6 is Sunday night in Miami, and if the Heat extend the series, they will host Game 7 on Tuesday night.
"My plan was for him not to go," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said, speaking about when Wade couldn't be with the team for the start of the second half. "I didn't even see him on the bench when he came back."
If Wade isn't right, that chore -- monumental enough as it is -- will be even more daunting. The Heat got a triple-double from LeBron James, 40 points from its bench and still couldn't top the Mavericks in Game 5.
They limped out of Dallas.
And they can't have Wade limping on Sunday.
Wade was hurt on a first-quarter drive, a collision with Brian Cardinal with 4:01 left in that period eventually forcing him to the locker room for treatment and evaluation. He missed about 5 minutes of the first half, then remained in the locker room after halftime for additional treatment, not checking in again until 4:33 remained in the third quarter.
"With him being out," James said, "we just tried to do the same thing as if he was in."
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said he thought Cardinal had position on the play where the collision happened and shouldn't have been called for a block.
"I thought Wade came right through his chest," Carlisle said.
Wade was in obvious pain immediately, grabbed at the outside of the hip repeatedly. Moments later, grimacing, he hobbled over to the Heat bench, fell to the court and covered his face with a towel while being tended to by Miami trainer Jay Sabol.
Moments later, Wade went to the locker room. He had 11 points at halftime and was Miami's best threat in the fourth, though his absence to begin the second half gave the Heat a scare.
No need, Wade said. He never considered sitting out the rest of the game.
"I said, 'I want to help us get back in this ballgame," Wade said. "And I was able to be effective, in a sense."
Mike Miller started the second half in Wade's place, making two 3-pointers for Miami's first two field goals of the third quarter.
"It wasn't like they lost a whole lot," Carlisle said.
On that front, the Heat agreed, to a point.
"Anytime you have a situation like that with one of your guys out, you just have to play your system, play like you're used to," Heat forward Chris Bosh said. "I think Mike did a fantastic job."
Wade, who had 32 points in Game 4, has been snakebitten at times during his playoff career. He missed Game 6 of the 2005 Eastern Conference finals with a rib injury, returning to play in a Game 7 loss where he was clearly ailing. In 2007, Wade's knees pained him so much that he could barely jump in what became a four-game ouster at the hands of the Chicago Bulls. And in 2009, he played through a balky back in a first-round loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Heat lost all three of those series.
His hip will likely dictate what sort of chance they have in the remainder of these finals. A two-day gap between games might be a huge break for Miami right now.
"We'll have to see how he responds," Spoelstra said. "Fortunately, we have an extra day, and we'll see if that's enough."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
2011 NBA FINALS
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