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Dwyane Wade leaves sick bed, guides Miami Heat past Brooklyn Nets

By
Jim Hague, The Sports Xchange

NEW YORK -- When Dwyane Wade awoke in his New York hotel room Wednesday morning, he couldn't swallow due to a sore and swollen tongue.

"When he called me this morning, he sounded like he had a bunch of marbles in his mouth," Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

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"I didn't talk," Wade said. "I just told him I needed rest."

So Wade skipped the morning shoot-around and remained in bed.

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"But I wasn't worried about it," Wade said. "I knew I would play basketball."

That was exactly what Wade did Wednesday night, recovering in time to score 28 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the floor, leading five players in double figures, as the Miami Heat outlasted the Brooklyn Nets 104-98 at the Barclays Center.

The surging Heat (15-9) won their third straight, while the Nets (7-18) absorbed their third consecutive loss and fifth in seven games. Brooklyn dropped a third straight at home in an extended five-game homestand.

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Wade said that there was no doubt of him playing Wednesday night.

"I was going to send out a tweet that I was playing," said Wade, who rebounded from a tough 3-of-16 shooting outing Monday night in a win over the Atlanta Hawks. "You never know in this game. I had so many great shots the other night and couldn't get them to go down."

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Wade said that he had a good feeling when he tossed in a 35-footer in the first period with the shot clock winding down.

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"I thought at that point that maybe it was my night," Wade said. "There are nights when the ball is going right in."

Besides Wade, the Heat got 20 points and 13 rebounds from center Hassan Whiteside, 16 points from guard Goran Dragic, 13 from forward Gerald Green and 11 points from forward Justise Winslow.

Winslow, who nailed three 3-pointers in the first half, didn't want to upset Wade's incredible rhythm.

"He's done that so many times in his life that you expect him to do it," said Winslow, the rookie from Duke. "I just had to keep doing my job. I couldn't be a spectator."

Spoelstra was obviously impressed with Wade.

"He was incredible," Spoelstra said. "He takes things very seriously. He was very upset when he thought he wasn't shooting the ball the way he's capable of. Nights like this are what makes him special. He doesn't want to let his teammates down."

The Nets were led by center Brook Lopez, who had 25 points.

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"D. Wade was on," Lopez said. "He was hitting very difficult shots. You've got to tip your hat to him for that. We played well, but you never want to be happy with losing."

The Nets also received 22 points and 10 assists from guard Jarrett Jack. Guard Wayne Ellington added 12 off the bench and center Andrea Bargnani added 10, also in a reserve role.

Nets coach Lionel Hollins couldn't devise a way for his team to handle Wade.

"D. Wade made some big shots for them," Hollins said. "That was the ballgame. We could decide to double him, but he's such a great player."

Down 103-98, the Nets had a chance to draw to within one possession with 33 seconds left, but somehow they let Miami run the clock down to 11 seconds before the Heat missed a shot. Conventional wisdom might have been to foul there to give the trailing team a better chance to win.

"I told them we needed to foul," Hollins said. "They were looking over at me. I mean, that kind of stuff happens."

"We have to communicate better," said Brooklyn forward Thaddeus Young, who was limited to eight points on 4-of-13 shooting. "We have to talk it out and just pay more attention in timeouts. That's all."

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Nets forward Joe Johnson's offensive woes continued, as he connected on just two of nine from the floor for five points. He scored just five points Monday night on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor.

NOTES: Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov and real estate developer Bruce Ratner agreed to terms on a deal that will give the Russian billionaire the sole ownership of the Nets and the Barclays Center, the home arena for the Nets and the NHL's New York Islanders. According to the reported agreement, Prokhorov purchased the final 20 percent of the Nets that Ratner owned and the 55 percent remaining on the arena. Forbes reported this year that the Nets were worth $2 billion. The NBA is officially reviewing the deal. Ownership of the Islanders is not a part of the deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ... Nets G Shane Larkin will be out indefinitely with a concussion.

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