(The Sports Xchange) - Guard Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, including two game-winning free throws with 1.5 seconds left to lead the Miami Heat to a 97-95 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Wade scored Miami’s final eight points to overshadow Oklahoma duo Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, both of whom had 25 points for the Thunder in a game in which there were 38 lead changes — the most in the NBA this season and the second most in the league in the past 10 years.
“He somehow found daylight,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said of Wade’s drive to the basket that drew a foul from forward Serge Ibaka. “I’m surprised he found energy to jump.
“Dwyane is a proven Hall of Fame talent, particularly in the fourth quarter. He’s going to have the courage to make plays.”
Thunder coach Billy Donovan also praised Wade.
“It was actually good defense by Serge,” Donovan said. “But Wade did a great job of drawing contact.”
Wade’s final eight-point flurry included a layup, a dunk, a floater and the two free throws and he then guarded Westbrook on the game’s final play and the Thunder guard badly missed a rushed three-pointer at the buzzer.
“That felt like the playoffs,” Wade said.
“That was our best game of the year from start to finish. They have two of the greatest players in our game. They have a great team.”
Durant had his ups and downs, getting into foul trouble early and then was hit with a technical foul in the second quarter when he got in the face of Heat guard Goran Dragic.
He also missed a three-pointer at the top of the key with nine seconds left in the game and the score tied 95-95. He was guarded by Miami rookie forward Justise Winslow on the play, and Heat forward Chris Bosh grabbed the rebound.
“I had (Winslow) shifting a little bit,” Durant said, defending his choice of shot. “I shoot 47 percent from three, and I got a wide-open look. I just missed.
“I like Winslow. He’s strong. He’s aggressive. But I felt I got every shot I wanted.”
Miami’s Hassan Whiteside had 11 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, though the center, who leads the NBA in blocked shots, had two goaltending calls go against him in the first half.