Wade leads Miami to win over Lakers
DWYANE Wade scored a season-high 40 points and passed out 11 assists in a spectacular one-man Christmas performance to lead the Miami Heat past the Los Angeles Lakers 101-85 in Miami yesterday.
Wade hit 12-of-20 shots and contributed four steals, four blocked shots and four rebounds while playing spirited defence against L a k e r s star Kobe Bryant in sparking the defending National Basketball Association champions to victory.
‘‘This was a great game,’’ Wade said.
‘‘It’s a great opportunity on Christmas Day. We wanted to go out there and take charge from the start and that’s exactly what we did.’’
The Lakers, led by 16 points from Bryant and 13 from Frenchman Ronny Turiaf, fell behind by 14 points in the first half and could never overcome the Heat. Bryant hit only 4-of-17 from the field.
‘‘We just try to throw different guys at him,’’ Wade said. ‘‘He’s got all the moves in the world. We’re trying to frustrate him, keep somebody fresh on him and make him work for everything he gets.’’
Wade ranks fourth in NBA scoring with 28.1 points a game while Bryant ranks sixth with 27.8 points a game.
The Heat improved to 13-14, matching Milwaukee for eighth in the Eastern Conference with their first triumph of the season over a club with a winning record.
‘‘We’ve been playing well of late,’’ Wade said. ‘‘We’re not looking at our record. We came out with a lot of energy. As long as we keep playing like that we will be all right.’’
Miami star centre Shaquille O’Neal, who won three NBA titles while playing for the Lakers, didn’t play yesterday. He has been out for more than six weeks with a knee injury.