Wade scores 38 to help HEAT beat 76ers 104-91
By STEVEN WINE
MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade was the first player off the bench, greeting teammates with hand slaps, fist bumps and a grin.
The celebration came after Wade’s supporting cast came through during a decisive stretch to start the fourth quarter Sunday, helping the Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 104-91.
“It was great to see the second unit come in and push the lead up,” Wade said. “That’s the only way you’re successful in this league.”
With Wade resting on the bench and center Jermaine O’Neal out after being ejected, the Heat went on a 14-3 run to start the final period. James Jones sank a pair of 3-pointers during the spurt, and Jamaal Magloire’s running dunk punctuated it to give Miami a 16-point advantage.
“A lot of guys had an opportunity to impact this game,” Magloire said.
While the reserves shined, Wade still had the biggest impact – 38 points, including two early dunks, five steals and five rebounds.
“I just wanted to come out and attack against a team you don’t want to play around with, and set the tone for my guys,” Wade said. “I’m glad I could do that, and I’m glad they could feed off it.”
O’Neal was ejected midway through the third quarter after grabbing Samuel Dalembert’s face during a confrontation. Miami also played a second game in a row without second-leading scorer Michael Beasley, sidelined with a bruised left thigh.
Despite being short-handed, the Heat won their third in a row to start a six-game homestand. They’ve won six straight at home, their longest such streak in three seasons.
The 76ers lost their fourth consecutive game, and they’re 0-2 against Miami this season.
The Heat led 73-57 when O’Neal departed, but the 76ers went on a 15-3 run in the final 4:46 of the third quarter to cut the deficit to five points.
Wade took a seat and watched the next six minutes while the Heat rebuilt their lead.
“With D-Wade out, it gave us an opportunity,” 76ers forward Andre Iguodala said. “Give them credit: Their guys came in and did a great job on us. They were pretty much taking charge at both ends.”
Jones scored 14 and Udonis Haslem had 13 points and 12 rebounds off the Miami bench. Carlos Arroyo had a season-high 10 assists, 12 points and no turnovers.
“I would love to do that every night,” Arroyo said.
Reserve Jason Kapono saw extended playing time against Miami’s zone and led the 76ers with 17 points.
“It was nice to be able to contribute,” he said. “I just wish we could have won.”
The 76ers never led and kept things close only because they shot 11 for 24 from 3-point range. Overall they shot 37 percent.
O’Neal departed after receiving two technical fouls for his confrontation with Dalembert, who received one technical and remained in the game.
Moments before their altercation, Dalembert accidentally poked O’Neal in the eye under the basket. Following a timeout, the two were running upcourt when their arms tangled. A foul was called on another player, and O’Neal briefly grabbed Dalembert’s face with one hand before being pulled away.
“His emotions probably got the best of him,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It can’t boil over, because it could have been very costly to us.”
O’Neal departed with 10 points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
“We all tried to make a little fun and say, ‘You need a hug,'” Wade said.
NOTES: Philadelphia F-C Marreese Speights missed his fourth consecutive game with a right knee sprain. … Miami improved to 31-6 when ahead at halftime. … The 76ers came into the game ranked fourth in the NBA in steals.
Updated March 14, 2010