Heat Check: LeBron James rises above when it matters most

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 27 points in his return to the Miami Heat starting lineup after missing two games, but none were more important than his defense on Arron Afflalo in the final seconds.

LeBron James’ jumper with 15.1 seconds left, followed the Heat’s defense — led by Wade on Afflalo — on Orlando’s final possession, lifted the Heat to a 101-99 victory against the Orlando Magic at AmericanAirlines Arena on Saturday night.

Miami beat the Magic for the second time in three nights, having won 120-82 at Orlando on Thursday night.

James had 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists for the Heat (10-3), who won their sixth straight game.

Once again, the Heat got themselves in a deep hole and fought their way out of it. James scored 9 points in the third quarter to help the Heat cut a 16-point halftime deficit to 77-71.

Miami trailed 55-39 after a half in which it missed all 10 attempts from 3-point range. Orlando, meanwhile, sank nine of 13 from behind the arc.

Michael Beasley hit all four shots and scored 9 points in the just less than eight first-half minutes. He did not play in the second half.

The turning point

Even though Miami cut away a huge chunk of a 16-point deficit in the third quarter, it was James’ jumper with 15.1 seconds left that secured the win.

The difference maker

Wade got off to a slow start, shooting 1 of 4 in the first quarter. He ended with 27 points, hitting nine of 16 overall.

Stat of the game

Wade entered game shooting 61 percent from the free-throw line. On Saturday night, he sank nine of 10 from the foul line. He missed his last one.

What’s next

The Heat will play the Phoenix Suns at AmericanAirlines Arena 7:30 p.m. Monday.

Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.