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Dwyane Wade's 46 points breathe new life into Heat

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Dwyane Wade was not ready to call it a season.  Down by 6 points after the 3rd quarter, god only knows what was going through Wade's mind as he prepared to take the game over and carry his team to a season saving victory.  Yes, the season has been saved...for now.  Wade bought the Heat another 2 days of work, and we'll have to wait until Tuesday night to see what they do with it. 

Quentin Richardson came out on fire, scoring the Heat's first 8 points (including a pair of triples).  Miami started the game on a 12-2 run, forcing 4 Celtics turnovers in the games first 4 minutes.  Even when Boston finally started making a run, the Heat didn't wilt.  They were playing with more emotion in this 1st quarter then I'd seen the entire series. 

A 14-0 run by Miami late in the quarter put them up 31-14, by far their largest lead of the series.   The Heat took a 13-point lead into the 2nd quarter, scoring 16 points off of 9 Celtics turnovers.  Another run at the beginning of the 2nd, this time an 11-3 one, put the Heat up 42-25...and this was with D-Wade on the bench.  Michael Beasley scored 3 straight buckets, 2 off nice Mario Chalmers assists. 

After that however, Miami scored just 1 point over the next 3+ minutes, allowing Boston to score 9 straight points and get right back in the game.  After sitting for almost 12 full minutes, Jermaine O'Neal come back into the game needing to provide some kind of spark down low.

The wheels were beginning to come off for Miami as the 1st half wound down.  Guys were taking absolutely horrible shots and turning it over (caughCHALMERScaugh) and Boston was chip chip chipping away.  The boys in green outscored Miami 18-6 over the last 7+ minutes of the 2nd quarter, trimming the once 18-point Heat lead down to just 6 at the half. 

Miami came out battling in the 3rd, led by who else...Dwyane Wade.  He scored 6 early points, keeping the Heat's slim lead intact.  Meanwhile, Kevin Garnett was having his best game of the series and his 13th and 14th points brought the C's back to within just 3 of the Heat with 5 minutes left in the quarter.  Miami had three starters scoring in double figures (Wade, Q and Beas) but the bench had just 5 points on 5 shots. 

A Ray Allen triple with just over 4 minutes left tied the game, then on their next possession Rondo made it look way too easy by driving and scoring, giving Boston their first lead since the score was 2-0.  That ignited Dwyane Wade...he crossed over Ray Allen and slammed it over Kevin Garnett, getting the crowd on their feet and hopefully inspiring his team to wake the *bleep* up. 

How did Miami respond?  Let's give the ball to Mario Chalmers...who turned it right over leading to another transition basket for Boston.   2 Heat turnovers in 3 possessions put the Celtics up 6, which is the lead they took into the 4th quarter.  Miami had 4 costly turnovers in that 3rd quarter, and they missed more free throws then they made. 

D-Wade took the team and put them on his shoulders when the final quarter began. In less then 3 minutes, Dwyane Wade went 4-for-4 (3 from downtown) and Mario Chalmers added a triple, giving the Heat a 5-point lead.   The lead was stretched to 8 when Wade was fouled taking a 3-pointer, hitting all 3 foul shots.   He kept right on pushing, hitting his 5th shot from beyond the arc in the 4th quarter, putting the Heat up by 11 at the halfway point. 

Boston trimmed it down to 5 at the three-minute mark, and I wasn't happy that D-Wade was carrying the ball up the floor.  It's much harder to double-team a moving target, which is what he does when coming off screens.  Suddenly the Heat began turning the ball over again, with 3 coming in less then 2 minutes. 

Ray Allen helped the Heat out big time; the usual amazing free throw shooter missed 3-of-4 down the stretch that would've brought Boston to within 2.  Michael Beasley then made an awesome play, catching a Dorell Wright airball and putting it back in to put Miami up 6 with 87 seconds left.  On the other end, the free throw bug must've bit Kevin Garnett as well, because he missed a pair just like Ray Allen did. 

Beasley then missed a relatively easy layup, got his own rebound and missed that too.  He absolutely could and should have dunked it in the first place...I have no idea why he didn't.  Luckily, the Heat forced Paul Pierce into a missed 3-pointer and Udonis did an amazing job saving the ball from going off a Miami player and out of bounds.  After D-Wade hit 1-of-2 from the foul line, Miami held a 7-point lead with 33.3 left. 

Ray Allen missed a 3, Quentin came down with the rebound and was instantly fouled.  With exactly 24 seconds left, Miami was finally in the drivers seat.  One more miss by Boston and that was that, as Dwyane Wade came down with the final rebound and the Heat sent their loyal fans home happy. 

I know how annoying it was to listen to the ABC announcers continually talk about Dwyane Wade being a free agent and how this could have been his last game in a Heat uniform, but its really not a big deal.  They don't know much about the Heat, just what they see on paper.  We have been hearing Wade talk all season (and his whole career, really) about how his heart is in Miami with this city and this team. 

Wade wants to stay, he just wants to make sure it's on a title contending team.  Pat Riley and co. have done everything right up until this point to not only prepare to hit the summer free agency as hard as any team, but while doing that they still managed to provide Wade a team that was very competitive all season and got them to the playoffs, which is more then the Knicks and Nets could do as they also have a lot of money to spend.  So yeah, the announcers were ignorant...but they just want to make things sound as dramatic as possible.  No worries. 


  • While he was held scoreless, Udonis Haslem had his first double-digit rebounding game of the series.  His 11 boards were a team high.
  • Quentin Richardson came to play today.  He started 4-of-4 from the field and hit his first 3 shots from downtown en route to a 20-point, 7-rebound afternoon.  He provided the scoring element the Heat are missing from Jermaine O'Neal. 
  • Speaking of Jermaine, he played the games first 8 minutes but still couldn't score.  The difference was that he wasn't taking 10+ shots, allowing for other players to score instead of having all those empty possessions.  He finished with 2 points (on a dunk, the only way he can make a field goal in this series) and 6 rebounds in 18 minutes. 
  • Mario Chalmers can score easier then Carlos Arroyo but his carelessness with the ball drives me insane.  Rio had 7 points and 4 turnovers in 28 minutes while Arroyo had 6 points and no turnovers in 20 minutes.  Chalmers did have 5 assists to Arroyo's 1. 
  • As a whole, the Heat bench scored just 12 points but had 19 rebounds and 8 assists.
  • Miami scored 16 points off of 9 Boston turnovers in the 1st quarter.  The Celtics turned the ball over 7 times the rest of the game, and had just 2 in the 4th quarter. 
  • The Heat's 12 turnovers were their lowest total of the series.  Dwyane Wade (6) and Chalmers (4) accounted for 10 of the 12.
  • Michael Beasley had another solid game, scoring 15 points and grabbing 5 boards.  He still looks a little scared at times, causing him to be passive when he should be more aggressive.  Do you notice how he doesn't always finish with a dunk when he easily could?  Also, his dunks sometimes barely clear the rim...because he isn't driving with his full force. 
  • It bothers me that when there is a loose ball, the only guys that I see diving on the floor for them is Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony.  Will someone else show some freaking heart please?!

So how good is that Dwyane Wade guy?  After 3 quarters he already had 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting, but his team was struggling big time having blown a huge lead and now losing.  Dwyane came out in the 4th quarter and took the game over.  Whatever he thought about after the 3rd quarter led him to the conclusion that he needed to carry his team if they were going to win. 

In a quarter that the Heat outscored Boston 30-15, 22 of those points came at the hands of D-Wade.  He began hitting 3-pointers one after another, going 5-of-5 from beyond the arc in the 4th quarter.  He finished the game with 46 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.  He didn't have to take over until the end of the game because he had Quentin Richardson and Michael Beasley helping him out.  Wade's friends will need to keep hitting those shots if they are going to have a chance in Game 5.  

That's right...Game 5 coming up on Tuesday in Boston at 7pm.  The Heat absolutely have a chance to win any game against Boston, it's just a matter of missing those 10-15 points that Jermaine O'Neal provided every night during the regular season.  If he can't do it, then someone else has got to step up and make things happen.  If Wade has to score 40 points, he will.  But even so, his friends have to got help out...and that is what the rest of this series will come down to.