Wade-led Heat defeat Pacers by 3


Published: Friday, January 19, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 19, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 33 points, including a game-saving layup with 4.3 seconds left, as the Miami Heat wasted most of a double-digit lead in the final minutes before beating the trade-depleted Indiana Pacers 104-101 on Thursday night.

Jason Williams added 20 points and eight assists for the Heat, who led 91-75 with 8:05 left before the Pacers — who had only 10 players in uniform — got within two by going on a 23-9 run.

But Wade hit a pair of free throws with 24.5 seconds left, then drove full-court for the winning score.

Danny Granger had a career-high 28 points on 9-of-13 shooting for Indiana, but came up short on a potential game-tying 3-point try as the final buzzer sounded.

The Pacers acquired Troy Murphy, Mike Dunleavy, Ike Diogu and Keith McLeod from the Warriors for Stephen Jackson, Sarunas Jasikevicius, Josh Powell and Al Harrington, but none of the new players were available Thursday.

Marquis Daniels had a season-high 21 for the Pacers, who got 17 points and 10 rebounds from Jermaine O'Neal.

The Heat were playing without Shaquille O'Neal for the 32nd straight game while he continues his recovery from knee surgery — he will not play in Philadelphia on Friday, either, but his return is expected soon.

Alonzo Mourning had 14 points, Jason Kapono had 11 and Michael Doleac matched a season-high with 10.

Indiana was within 11 points midway through the final quarter when Wade drove for a reverse layup and a 93-80 lead. The reigning NBA finals MVP, who has already missed six full games this year with a sprained right wrist, appeared to injure his right hand as he tumbled to the court — yet stayed in the game.

They needed him late, after the Pacers made a big run.

Jeff Foster had consecutive three-point plays in a 31-second span — the last with 2:28 left — to cap a 10-0 burst that drew Indiana to 96-92. But Williams hit consecutive jumpers, the last with 1:03 left after Granger made a pair of free throws, to restore a six-point margin.

Miami attacked the rim early with five of its first six baskets coming on either dunks or layups. The Heat shot 65 percent in the opening half and built a 55-49 lead at the break.

The Heat opened the game with a 14-5 run before Indiana scored 15 of the next 20 points to take its lone lead, 20-19 with about a minute left in the first period on a layup by Granger.

But Wade put the Heat up to stay with a spectacular layup 41.6 seconds before the quarter ended.

Driving in the open floor, he turned Rawle Marshall around, then drew contact from the Indiana reserve near the left block. After the bump and with his back to the basket, Wade hit a no-look, over-the-shoulder, left-handed bank for a three-point play and a 23-20 lead.

Miami opened the third quarter on a 13-3 run to open a 68-52 lead, and took a 85-70 lead into the fourth.

Notes: Granger's previous career high was 25 points, set last month in a win over the New York Knicks. ... Indiana's new players are expected to be available Saturday when the Pacers host the Knicks. ... Miami has won five of its last six overall and is back to .500 (9-9) at home. ... The Pacers lost for only the third time in their last nine trips to Miami. ... The Heat have shot 50 percent or better in four of their last five games. ... Indiana is 1-11 on the road when trailing after three quarters.

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