Dwayne Wade finds touch when Heat needed it the most - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Dwayne Wade finds touch when Heat needed it the most

Posted: Updated:
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, during the first half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle, Pool) Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) is defended by San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan, during the first half at Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle, Pool)

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The biggest adjustment for Dwyane Wade came hours before Game 4 of the NBA Finals.

It was when Miami coach Erik Spoelstra made the decision to start Mike Miller over Udonis Haslem, with the thinking that it would help thwart San Antonio's defensive schemes against LeBron James.

Instead, it served as a time machine of sorts for Wade — who found his form again, on a night when the Heat absolutely needed it most.

The Finals are now a best-of-three series that will be decided next week in Miami, thanks largely to Wade, who came up with his best game in months to carry the Heat in Game 4 on Thursday night. He had 32 points, six rebounds, six steals and four assists, and the Heat shook off an early 10-point deficit to beat the Spurs 109-93 on Thursday night.

The series is knotted at two games apiece, with Game 5 in San Antonio on Sunday.

"Right now it's a three-game series," Wade said. "Two great ballclubs, we just want to come out again and play well."

Wade's postseason has been highly un-Wade-like, with him averaging only 14.2 points in the playoffs entering Thursday. His right knee has been an issue for more than three months — not coincidentally, that's also when his last 30-point outing before Game 4 was. And by the time fourth quarters roll around, he's typically been finished, getting an average of 2.3 points in the final 12 minutes of games in these playoffs.

He is not the 2006 version anymore, without question.

But what the Spurs did against him defensively Thursday had to strike a nerve.

Because the Heat started Miller, the Spurs had no choice but to open the game with Tiago Splitter — their center — guarding Wade. That experiment ended after 47 seconds. And in the second half, the Spurs went to Boris Diaw — another person who it's difficult to envision guarding a former Finals MVP who's quicker and smaller — to open against Wade.

Nonetheless, it got Wade going.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, left, talks with teammate forward Chris Bosh during the first quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball series against the San Antonio Spurs, Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/El Nuevo Herald, David Santiago)

He made 14 of 25 shots, significant in both terms of success ratio and amount, since it's the second-highest shot total he's taken this season. He wanted the ball, and the Heat wanted him to have the ball.

"How are you going to respond?" Wade asked his teammates before the game.

He apparently took those words to heart as well.

The lineup change worked, and that's with Miller scoring exactly zero points.

  • UAB SportsMore>>

  • UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    UAB guard Chad Frazier granted his release from basketball program

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-07-29 23:12:02 GMT
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
    The leading scorer on the UAB basketball team is leaving the program. Guard Chad Frazier was granted his release and will not return."Chad Frazier has been granted his release from our program," head coach Jerod Haase said in a statement. "We appreciate his contributions to our program and wish him the best." Frazier, a first team All-Conference USA selection, was arrested last month and charged with third degree domestic violence. The case was later dismissed.Frazier played one season at UAB...More >>
  • UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    UAB grants Chad Frazier release from scholarship

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 3:58 PM EDT2014-07-29 19:58:33 GMT
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
    UAB has granted All-Conference USA point guard Chad Frazier a release from his scholarship.More >>
  • Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Roddy White gets three-year extension from Atlanta Falcons

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:58:02 GMT
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
    Roddy White is set to sign a contract extension that will keep him in Atlanta for four more seasons.More >>
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Birmingham Mayor confident in DNC pitch, admits hurdles

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:42 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:42:06 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell is more confident than ever in the city's chances of landing the 2016 Democratic National Convention.In an interview with ABC 33/40 Wednesday, Bell said it's a matter of proving the city can handle the large-scale event. Some critics argue other cities vying for the convention have more viable transportation and venue options."We still have a lot of heavy competition in terms of Philadelphia and New York. We lack in some areas that is of interest to the DNC such ...More >>
  • Avondale Elementary school generating buzz

    Avondale Elementary school generating buzz

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:26 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:26:18 GMT
    Many parents are no longer trying to get their children out of Birmingham City Schools. In fact, more are looking to get them in.And schools, like Avondale Elementary, are seeing higher enrollment.These families aren't the only community members getting involved.Avondale is one of five schools that is part of the Woodlawn Innovation Network. This new initiative offers a hands on, personalized approach to teaching and learning. It gets more Birmingham business leaders invested and into the...More >>
    Many parents are no longer trying to get their children out of Birmingham City Schools. In fact, more are looking to get them in.And schools, like Avondale Elementary, are seeing higher enrollment.These families aren't the only community members getting involved.Avondale is one of five schools that is part of the Woodlawn Innovation Network. This new initiative offers a hands on, personalized approach to teaching and learning. It gets more Birmingham business leaders invested and into the...More >>
  • Alabama WR Amari Cooper anxious to 'break records' in 2014

    Alabama WR Amari Cooper anxious to 'break records' in 2014

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-08-20 18:12:38 GMT
    The second-ranked Crimson Tide star is one of the nation's top wide receivers and a highly regarded NFL prospect, but he's also coming off a season when nagging injuries, frequent double teams and inconsistency contributed to a rough start.More >>
    The second-ranked Crimson Tide star is one of the nation's top wide receivers and a highly regarded NFL prospect, but he's also coming off a season when nagging injuries, frequent double teams and inconsistency contributed to a rough start.
    More >>
  • WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    WATCH: Nick Saban, Alabama football team complete Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:59:26 GMT
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
    You know Nick Saban would never back down from a challenge, especially one that's for such a worthy cause.More >>
  • WHO: West Africa Ebola death toll rises to 1,350

    WHO: West Africa Ebola death toll rises to 1,350

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:52 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:52:45 GMT
    The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now at least 1,350 people.More >>
    The World Health Organization says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is now at least 1,350 people.More >>
  • Obama says world appalled by beheading of US journalist James Foley (video)

    Obama says world appalled by beheading of US journalist James Foley (video)

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:40 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:40:36 GMT
    Obama says world appalled by brutal murder of journalist James Foley; spoke with his family.More >>
    Obama says world appalled by brutal murder of journalist James Foley; spoke with his family.More >>
  • Forbes: Dallas Cowboys worth over $3 billion, most of all 32 NFL franchises

    Forbes: Dallas Cowboys worth over $3 billion, most of all 32 NFL franchises

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 1:23 PM EDT2014-08-20 17:23:28 GMT
    The Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3 billion in value. For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, according to Forbes.More >>
    The Dallas Cowboys are the first U.S. sports franchise to top $3 billion in value. For the eighth straight year, the Cowboys are worth the most of all 32 NFL franchises, according to Forbes.More >>
  • Youth coach: Inspiring speech was spontaneous

    Youth coach: Inspiring speech was spontaneous

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:54 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:54:10 GMT
    A youth baseball coach from Rhode Island who has become an Internet sensation for the inspiring speech he made after his team was eliminated from the Little League World Series says the talk was spontaneous and...More >>
    A youth baseball coach from Rhode Island who has become an Internet sensation for the inspiring speech he made after his team was eliminated from the Little League World Series says the talk was spontaneous and from the...More >>