Heat 115, Kings 102
The best and worst moments of Dorell Wright’s NBA career have
both come in Sacramento.
Wright will certainly savor what happened Sunday night against
the Kings. While heralded teammate Dwyane Wade was his usual self
with 34 points and 10 assists, Wright had the breakout game he has
been seeking, scoring a season-high 19 points in the Heat’s 115-102
victory over the Kings.
On March 2, 2008 at Sacramento, Wright went down with a torn
meniscal tear in his left knee. He missed the rest of the season,
and the knee injury lingered as he only came back to play in six
games a year ago.
Playing a season-high 29 minutes against the Kings, Wright took
plenty of pressure off his good friend Wade. He not only ran the
offense at times, he made 9 of 12 shots and had five assists –
while committing zero turnovers.
“This means a lot. It felt good to go out there and just have
fun,” said Wright, who entered the game averaging 2.4 points in
limited playing time. “Even before the game I was thinking about
playing here and what had happened two years ago. It’s kind of
ironic to come back and have a game like this.”
The Heat used a 29-19 second quarter to take control of the game
and led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter.
In the fourth, the Kings cut the lead to 97-91 with 5:42 left,
but Wade made a pair of jumpers and found Quentin Richardson for a
3-pointer, putting Miami ahead 104-91 with 3:56 remaining.
Afterward, Wade seemed much more pleased with Wright’s play than
his seventh game this season of 30 or more points.
“He was a starter two years ago and this was the place he got
hurt in,” Wade said. “It was great that Dorell was finally given
an opportunity again and was able to come through.”
Udonis Haslem had 15 points and Michael Beasley had 20, helping
the Heat beat Sacramento for the 11th time in 12 games. Richardson
made five 3-pointers and also had 20 points.
“I was very impressed with Miami and how together and
disciplined they were both offensively and defensively,” Kings
coach Paul Westphal said. “We couldn’t find a way to make them
miss and they came in our building and shot 58 percent on us. We
tried a little bit of everything on them and they didn’t crack at
Rookie Tyreke Evans scored 30 points for the Kings, who had
their four-game winning streak snapped Saturday night in Phoenix.
Donte Greene scored 21 points, Omri Casspi had 14 and Beno Udrih
“No way were we taking this team lightly,” Miami coach Erik
Spoelstra said. “We have watched them closely. They are an
exciting young team that plays extremely hard. We had to come with
our best focus. Our starters set the tone early.”
The Kings could do little to slow down Miami and played zone
defense for large portions of the second half. The Heat had a
season-high 30 assists and shot 58 percent from the field.
“Wade can score and find guys at the same time,” Greene said.
“It can be difficult (guarding him). You don’t know if he is going
to keep it then get to the rim or if he is going to pass it off.
You just have to contain him and we didn’t do a good job of that
After a strong start to the season, the Heat entered the game
having lost two straight and seven of 10. Miami was coming of a
heart-wrenching loss Friday when Kobe Bryant banked in a
desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer for a one-point Lakers win.
When asked if the victory over Sacramento erases the memory of
the loss to the Lakers, Wade offered an emphatic no.
“Never. That shot will always be in our memory,” Wade said.
“Hopefully we use it to get mad.”
Heat starting center Jermaine O’Neal was not with the team due
to a family issue.
Wade scored 16 points and Beasley had 13 in a dominating first
half for Miami, which shot 57 percent and led 59-44 at the
NOTES: Wade’s girlfriend, actress Gabriel Union, was sitting
courtside. … The Kings starting frontcourt of Spencer Hawes,
Jason Thompson and Andres Nocioni were a combined 1 of 12 shooting
in the opening half and had eight points combined. … Evans has
scored 20 or more points in 11 of the last 13 games.