Two nights ago the Miami Heat lost to the worst team in the Western Conference and possibly the entire league facing the Phoenix Suns at home.
Next up, the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors arrived in Miami.
The prediction would be Warriors win along with the continuation of Miami’s losing streak. Instead, Dwyane Wade’s “One Last Dance” tour, had the most significant moment of the season so far.
Let us get into it.
Wade took the ball up, drove into the lane, stutter-stepped and lost the ball for a brief moment. He gathered it and shoveled it to Dion Waiters, who was double-teamed and couldn’t get off a shot. Waiters tossed it back to Wade, who pumped fake Durant in the air and then had his first try blocked by Jordan Bell.
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With seconds ticking away, Wade connected on a one-legged, off-the-glass, straightaway 3-point shot as time expired heroically saving the Miami Heat in a 126-125 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, a game where the Heat had a 24-point lead.
“Winning cures all, even though we have a quick turnaround, we have to get out of here in an hour” Wade said. “On this plane, the , and bruises, everything to get ready for the next game is going to feel a little bit better because we were able to get a win.”
Wade scored 25 points to help Miami snap a six-game home losing streak.
“I have been in this position so many times and so many times you don’t make the shot,” Wade said. “The one I make is a one-legged flick from my chest. It was great to do it in front of fans.”
Those Heat fans erupted in jubilation. The Warriors’ fans in attendance were in disbelief. Warriors star Stephen Curry offered congratulations after their last head-to-head meeting before Wade retires after this season.
“I told Steph, `I needed this one on my way out. Y’all get enough,” Wade said. “But it was cool. I think the one thing cool for me was I’ve got younger teammates that heard about some of the things you do but don’t always get an opportunity to see it.”
Though it was in comeback fashion, the Warriors had their chance. Kevin Durant made one of two free throws with 14 seconds left, putting Golden State up by two. The Heat had no timeouts. However, Wade was on their team.
“Sometimes you just need to be lucky,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve had so many of these breaks go against us.”
Goran Dragic led the Heat with 27 points. He had 25 points by halftime, 20 of those in the second quarter alone — setting Heat single-quarter and any-half records for a reserve. Josh Richardson added 21, and Miami connected on 18 3-pointers.
It is far from over for the Warriors, who are expected to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals. Klay Thompson scored 36 points for the Warriors. Durant added 29 and Curry scored 24 for the Warriors, whose lead over Denver in the conference is a half-game.
“There is something special about him making a play like that, this his last year in this building,” Curry said. “I’d much rather see him jumping on the scorer’s table when we’re not on the court. Deep down, it was cool to see, even though we lost.”
Wade, who has exchanged jerseys with an opponent after almost every game this season, kept this one as a souvenir.
“I wonder when Kobe hit that game winner on me in LA when he hit off the glass, on the top of the key, I asked how is possible?” Wade said. “Thank you for showing me the way, “Mamba Mentality.”
The beat goes on.
Warriors take their talents just a little north as they visit the Orlando Magic Thursday night. Warriors have won 11 straight over the Magic.
Heat take their talents’ to Houston on Thursday night. Miami topped the Rockets 101-99 at home on Dec. 20.