Wade, Heat win eighth straight road game
PHILADELPHIA (AP)Dwyane Wade has the Heat feeling at home on the road. That's the kind of comfort level Miami wants entering the postseason.
Wade scored 30 points and made the big assist to Udonis Haslem for the go-ahead basket with 1.3 seconds left to lift the Heat to their eighth straight road win, 107-105 over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday night.
Dwyane Wade helped carry the Heat with 30 points and a key assist.
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images
"The playoffs are tough and winning on the road helps us get ready for comeback games," Wade said.
Wade and the Heat had to rally from nine down to match the third-longest road winning streak in franchise history. Once they finally grabbed the lead on some big baskets by Wade, they had to sweat out a Sixers scare.
Andre Iguodala tied it at 105 for the Sixers on a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left. But the Heat, who took over sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference, weren't about to go down against one of the worst teams in the NBA.
Wade scored several clutch baskets late in the fourth, but it was his drive-and-dish to Haslem in the corner that was the difference. Haslem nailed the winner.
"I knew if I could get in to the paint I would draw somebody, so I had it on my mind that there would be an open guy on my strong side," he said. "Once I saw Samuel (Dalembert) come for the block, I knew that someone would be open."
Iguodala fired a last-chance air ball and the Sixers lost their home finale.
Milwaukee lost to the Atlanta Hawks 104-96 on Monday night, dropping the Bucks into sixth place in the East, a game behind Miami. The Bucks and Heat each have one game remaining - and Milwaukee holds the tiebreaker.
Wade was 12 of 19 from the floor and showed no sign that his right wrist, which he hurt in a fall Sunday against the Knicks, was bothering him. He scored on a pair of layups that brought the Heat back from down nine to take the lead.
Iguodala missed two free throws with 2:41 left and the Sixers down two. He then threw a high pass on what should have been an easy alley-oop to Dalembert.
Iguodala made up for those gaffes with the tying 3, but couldn't win it. Jrue Holiday made the final inbounds pass to Iguodala, but his falling 3 was nowhere near the rim.
"We had the game in our hands, but we let it slip away," Iguodala said. "We made some mistakes down the stretch and we don't give ourselves an attempt to try to win or tie the game up."
Quentin Richardson had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat.
Jason Kapono led the Sixers with a season-high 24 points and Jodie Meeks had 21. Iguodala finished with 14 points and Holiday had a career-high 13 assists. The Sixers had 35 assists on 41 baskets.
This was likely the last home game for 76ers coach Eddie Jordan. His hire was panned by fans and media from the day he arrived and there has been much speculation over the last two months that he'll be fired once the season is over.
The Sixers tried to give the strong crowd a win to remember in the finale. Kapono scored 22 points through three quarters - he nailed consecutive 3s for a 69-60 lead - and was finally the long-range threat Philadelphia needed all season.
Kapono and Meeks were sensational in hitting shots from all over the court. Meeks made the most of meaningful minutes, and all of a sudden two players who probably didn't warrant serious consideration on the scouting report appeared poised to cost the Heat a win.
Kapono and Meeks combined for 21 points in the third to help the Sixers take an 86-82 lead. Kapono made his last nine shots of the game.
There was still enough evidence, however, that these were the lowly Sixers. There was a botched alley-oop that Dorell Wright turned into an easy layup. Iguodala missed a reverse jam.
Meeks hit one more 3 early in the fourth for a 91-84 lead. Then the Heat used a 10-3 run to tie the game.
Elton Brand, an $80 million disappointment in his first two seasons in Philadelphia, hit a pair of jumpers that put the Sixers ahead each time. Wade erased the small deficit, turning a quick steal into a basket that gave the Heat a 101-98 lead.
Wade looked healthy, but the Heat played again without Jermaine O'Neal because of a sprained left ankle.
Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said his team might have been looking ahead to the postseason.
"I think that the weekend is somewhere in the guys' minds," he said. "That is not an excuse, so we still have to keep plugging away. We have built up some pretty good habits and this was at least a habit of learning how to stick around and win games."
NOTES: The 76ers offered $5 tickets in selected seats to fans with a ticket stub from the Phillies opener earlier in the day. That promotion, along with Fan Appreciation Night giveaways like an iPad, led to a strong crowd of 17,401. ... Iguodala thanked the crowd for their support this season and said, with their help, "the sky's the limit for us." ... Wade warmed up by doing pull-ups on the rim.