NEW YORK – Dwyane Wade had a stomach virus and missed Miami’s shoot-around on Dec. 16. He wasn’t sure if he would be able to play against Brooklyn. Once the game started, the star guard looked just fine.
Wade scored 28 points to lead the Heat to a 95-91 victory over the Nets. He was 12 for 24 from the field and also contributed five rebounds and four assists.
“I had three pieces of toast and two bananas,” Wade said. “That’s all I had to eat today, but it got me through. If I’m going to be out here I might as well do something. Otherwise I might as well have stayed in the hotel.”
The Heat had five players score in double figures, including three reserves. Starting forward Luol Deng had 18 points, and rookie Shabazz Napier scored 11. The game was delayed for 29 minutes in the first quarter when the installation of a new green roof at Barclays Center led to a water leak.
“I didn’t even know it was raining outside,” said Joe Johnson, who scored 16 points for the Nets. “I was like ‘How the hell we got a leak if it ain’t raining.’”
Mason Plumlee had 21 points and nine rebounds for Brooklyn, and Deron Williams added 15 points and 11 assists.
The Heat led by as many as 13 points in the fourth quarter, but the Nets closed to 93-91 on Bojan Bogdanovic’s 3-pointer with 35 seconds left. After a Miami timeout, Wade missed a long 3, but Bogdanovic was called for a loose ball foul on Deng.
“When I turned around there was only six on the shot clock, so I knew I had to get it up,” Wade said. “I just wanted to hit the rim and give ourselves a chance, and we got something positive out of it.”
Deng made both foul shots to lift Miami to a 95-91 lead. “The biggest thing is to make the first one,” he said. “To me it wasn’t two free throws, it was just worry about this one. Once I made it, my mindset was make this one and it’s now a two-possession game.”
Following a Nets timeout, Jarrett Jack missed a wide-open layup and neither team scored again.
Wade scored Miami’s first 10 points of the game and had 17 at intermission. The Heat extended their lead to 15 points on several occasions in the second quarter before settling for a 55-45 halftime lead.
The Nets then opened the second half with a 12-3 run, pulling within one on Johnson’s layup with 8:15 left in the third. But Wade then scored for the Heat, who put together an 18-8 surge to increase their advantage to 11.
“I don’t wish anything bad on Dwyane Wade. I just hope he’s sick again tomorrow,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He played with tremendous energy and was our best bail out when in doubt.”