Dragic, Wade lead Heat past Hornets

March 18, 2019
Charlotte Hornets guard Tony Parker (9) goes up to shoot against Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, yesterday.

MIAMI (AP):

Dwyane Wade arrived for work yesterday not expecting to play much, if at all. His bruised right hip was sore and he was feeling pain with every step.

He offered to play for a couple of minutes.

He wound up playing 28, even diving on that bad hip for a loose ball with the outcome still in the balance — and helping the Miami Heat get perhaps the most important win of their season.

Goran Dragic scored 19 points off the bench, Wade added 17 and the Heat found just enough offence to beat the Charlotte Hornets 93-75 in a game with major Eastern Conference play-off implications. The win kept Miami (33-36) at the No 8 spot in the East race — and moved the Heat two games up on No 10 Charlotte (31-38), with 13 games left for both clubs.

“Just thankful I could go out there and contribute,” Wade said.

He did more than contribute. Even with the bad hip — hurt on a hard fall Friday night in Miami’s loss to Milwaukee — the 6-foot-4 Wade won a jump ball against Frank Kaminsky midway through the fourth quarter after hitting the floor for a tie-up, then blocked a layup try by Dwayne Bacon about two minutes later and hit a 3-pointer on the ensuing Heat possession.

That put Miami up 13, and the Heat cruised from there.

“I’m really going to miss that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of the late heroics from the soon-to-be-retired Wade. “He’s a warrior. He knows how important a game like this is. Just the fact that he wasn’t able to go through the walkthrough but then he does everything he possibly can ... that’s the kind of message that you love your young players getting from a Hall of Fame player.”

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