Dwyane Wade’s surgically repaired left knee looks to be just fine.
Wade scored 21 points and handed out five assists in 23 minutes, and the Miami Heat beat the Detroit Pistons 105-78 in a preseason game on Thursday night.
Chris Bosh scored 17 points and LeBron James scored 13 for Miami, which led 27-11 after one quarter in its first exhibition since returning home from China earlier this week.
Combined, the Wade-Bosh-James trio shot 19 for 31 from the floor, with 14 assists, 13 rebounds and five steals — all getting the fourth quarter off after Miami built a 95-60 lead.
”I’m continuing to get my rhythm, my conditioning,” Wade said. ”Tonight I kind of broke out a lot of the things I normally do and I felt comfortable doing that. I was able to see a couple things I need to continue to get stronger at, but wasn’t bad.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the team wasn’t planning for Wade to practice every day in the preseason, but that his body is allowing him to be out there.
”I just like his progress right now,” Spoelstra said. ”You see bursts of his old speed and quickness.”
Greg Monroe scored 15 points for Detroit, which missed 18 of its first 22 shots. Brandon Knight added 12 for the Pistons.
Detroit lost veteran Corey Maggette in the first half with a strained left calf. Maggette pulled up after only 2 minutes and did not return.
Wade had surgery on July 9, after helping the Heat win the NBA title – despite dealing with knee pain and swelling throughout the playoffs. He had a hectic summer business-wise, primarily because of a book tour, and was a major question mark as the Heat entered training camp.
If Thursday was any indication, question answered.
”He looked real sharp,” James said. ”He had a good bounce in his step, made some shots, did a little of everything. … Very active tonight. He told me he was going to be.”
Wade – who made only 5 of 16 shots for 12 points during Miami’s two games in China against the Los Angeles Clippers – shot 9 for 13 against the Pistons, cutting and running and jumping without any obvious problems. He tumbled to the floor after a layup in the early minutes, and took an angry swipe at the ball after a dunk where he thought he was fouled in the second half.
”Look, they’re obviously a great team, with a great coach, great players, great system and fundamentally extremely sound,” Pistons coach Lawrence Frank said. ”For us, it’s an opportunity to get better.”
Several Heat regulars did not play because of minor injuries, including Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem and Joel Anthony.