Warriors Overcome Deficit, Stun Heat In Overtime
OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Dorell Wright scored 20 points and made a season-high six 3-pointers, including a tying shot late in regulation, and the short-handed Golden State Warriors spoiled Dwyane Wade’s return with a 111-106 overtime victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
The former Miami forward also converted a go-ahead 3-pointer in the extra period, ending Golden State’s five-game losing streak and giving rookie coach Mark Jackson his most impressive victory. Wright also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Wade scored a season-high 34 points after missing the last three games with a bruised left foot, but missed shots late in regulation and overtime. LeBron James had 26 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds before missing a potential tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of overtime.
Miami had won three straight.
The NBA’s first-place team seemed to be in control with a flurry of dunks, alley-oops and high-flying layups for most of the night.
The Heat clamped down on defense and broke away with a 21-8 run to open the third quarter, relying on the Big Three to provide the highlights: Wade flipped a pass that Chris Bosh finished with a one-handed scoop, James had a soaring finger roll and Wade flicked a spinning layup past a crowd of defenders to push Miami ahead 78-61.
And in an instant, the Heat’s biggest injury concern began to wash away.
Wade hurt his foot at Charlotte on Dec. 28 and had not played since a loss at Atlanta on Jan. 2. His previous high in scoring came on Christmas, when he had 26 points in Miami’s romp over the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
All of Miami’s positive vibes evaporated almost as quickly.
Nate Robinson ignited the Warriors with a 3-pointer followed by a layup late in the fourth quarter, finishing with 24 points off the bench. Udonis Haslem picked up a technical foul on the play, and Robinson’s free throw tied the score at 93.
After the Warriors stopped Miami again, Shane Battier intercepted a pass by Brandon Rush, leading to a fast break by James. He was fouled and made one free throw.
Wade made two more from the stripe to give the Heat a 96-93 lead before Wright evened the score with a 3-pointer with 31.2 seconds left in regulation.
Wade missed a jump shot, and the Warriors called timeout before they botched the final possession: Monta Ellis dribbled around too long and time ran out when he passed to Wright, the one glaring mistake on a night he scored 22 points.
Golden State began to pull away from a tight overtime, going ahead 105-104 on Wright’s 3-pointer with 86 seconds remaining. Robinson also intercepted Wade’s pass on Miami’s next possession, throwing it ahead to Wright for an uncontested dunk.
In a final attempt to even the score, James took a difficult 3-pointer with 7.9 seconds to play. The Warriors recovered and Robinson made a pair of free throws to seal Golden State’s stunning victory.
The Warriors played without injured starters Stephen Curry and Andris Biedrins for the third game in a row. Curry is not expected back for at least a week—and probably longer—while he rehabs in Charlotte.
Wade and James didn’t take long to regain their rhythm. They just couldn’t sustain it.
On Miami’s second possession of the game, Wade raced up court and tossed a high-arching lob pass from the 3-point line just over the leaping hands of rookie Charles Jenkins. James sprinted from behind and finished above the rim, throwing down a powerful two-hand slam that drew roars even from the home crowd.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra limited Wade’s minutes somewhat, but for the most part the slashing swingman played in his usual rotation—mostly because Miami couldn’t put the Warriors away earlier.
The more athletic and aggressive Heat took advantage of Golden State’s slow-footed transition defense, which has been an emphasis since Jackson took over. Miami outshot Golden State 51 to 42 percent in the first half, taking a 57-53 lead at the break.
The Warriors went almost 10 minutes before their first field goal of the second half.
Notes: Warriors backup C Kwame Brown left in the fourth quarter with an apparent right shoulder injury. …. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison sat courtside in the arena that houses his company’s name. Ellison was outbid for the Warriors franchise last year by an ownership group headed by Joe Lacob, sitting about 10 seats away, and Peter Guber. … New Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie also sat in a courtside seat.
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