Ageless Wade lifts Heat past Warriors

February 28, 2019
Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Miami icon Dwyane Wade banked in a buzzer-beating three-pointer to lift the Heat to a 126-125 victory over the reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

Wade, who announced before the season that he would retire after this campaign, added another sublime moment to his career highlight reel as the Heat snapped a six-game home losing streak by salvaging a victory that appeared to have gotten away.

Miami led by as many as 24 points and were ahead by eight going into the fourth quarter.

Kevin Durant’s jump shot tied it at 109-109 with five minutes remaining, and Durant’s three-pointer with 67 seconds left — plus a free throw after he was fouled on the play, gave the Warriors a 122-118 lead.

Golden State were still up by four when Wade drained a three-pointer with 15 seconds left and after Durant made one of two free-throws to put the Warriors’ lead at two, Wade delivered from the top of the arc — hanging on when his first attempt was blocked and draining a second effort for the victory.

“I’ve been in this position so many times and so many times you don’t make the shot,” Wade, a three-time NBA champion, said. “And the one I make is a one-legged flick from my chest. It’s crazy.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr called it an “unbelievable shot”.

“I knew it was going in as soon as it left his hand,” Kerr said. “I guess it’s fitting. His last season, this kind of game — for him to finish it the way he did, incredible.”

Goran Dragic scored 27 points for Miami and Josh Richardson added 21.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 36, Durant added 29 and Curry 24.

“Phenomenal basketball game,” Kerr said. “We just couldn’t pull it off.”

Houston star James Harden endured a tough shooting night but still managed to crank out 30 points as the Rockets defeated the Hornets 118-113 in Charlotte.

Charlotte guard Kemba Walker scored 35 points, but missed two three-pointers in the final minutes as the Hornets dropped their third straight.

Harden, who saw his streak of consecutive 30-point games end at 32 on Monday, struggled from the floor, making 10 of 29 shots including just one of 11 from three-point range.

For a time his woes seemed to infect the Rockets, who saw a 15-point lead transform into a 12-point deficit in the third quarter.

But Harden made nine of nine free throws, including four late foul shots that helped the Rockets pull through.