Wade on fire as Heat burn 76ers; Warriors sink Spurs to lead 2-0
LOS ANGELES — Dwyane Wade rolled back the years with a vintage performance as the Miami Heat ended Philadelphia’s 17-game winning streak to level their Eastern Conference playoff series on Monday.
The 36-year-old Wade scored 28 points in 25 minutes from the bench as Miami stunned the 76ers’ home crowd into silence with a 113-103 victory.
It was a superb performance from Wade, a three-time NBA champion who started this season with the Cleveland Cavaliers before re-joining Miami in February just before the trade deadline.
Wade’s experience proved crucial throughout, inspiring a first half fight back to wipe out the 76ers’ early lead before shepherding Miami to the win in a nervy finale.
Wade, who also had seven rebounds and three assists, was backed by 20 points from Goran Dragic and 18 points from James Johnson.
Philadelphia meanwhile were left reflecting on their first loss since early March, jolting their momentum as the series heads to Miami for game three on Thursday.
Ben Simmons led the Philadelphia scoring with 24 points, with Dario Saric adding 23 and Marco Belinelli 16.
The Sixers had started confidently, building a seven-point cushion to lead 29-22 at the end of the first quarter.
But the hosts were then obliterated in the second period as the Heat went on a scoring spree, with Wade amassing 21 first half points.
With the Sixers struggling from three-point range, the Heat found their touch, outscoring Philly by 34-13 in the second quarter to take a 56-42 lead into the halftime break.
Miami defended the lead through the second half, and had moved out to 81-65 clear near the end of the third period.
Philadelphia rallied relentlessly and it looked ominous for Miami as the Sixers closed the gap to two points at 98-96.
Wade, however, had other ideas, grabbing a two-pointer before finding Johnson with a superb pass to make it 102-96.
Dragic then grabbed another twopointer and suddenly the Heat were eight clear again at 104-96, leaving the Sixers with too much to do to overturn the deficit.
DURANT, THOMPSON STAR AS WARRIORS SINK SPURS
Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson produced 30-point games as the Golden State Warriors took a stranglehold on their Western Conference playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs with a 116-101 victory on Monday.
The Warriors moved into a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series after overcoming a determined Spurs team determined to bounce back after being outclassed in game one.
San Antonio started strongly, with LaMarcus Aldridge — who finished with 34 points — driving the Spurs forward as they shaded the first period 25-23.
The visitors continued to rally in the second quarter at the Oracle Arena, and had moved into a 53-47 at halftime.
But Golden State’s relentless pressure and offensive variety — even without the injured Stephen Curry — inevitably began to tell in the second half, and the reigning NBA champions slowly turned the screw to overhaul San Antonio and pull clear.
Durant finished with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists while Thompson had 31 points with five assists.
San Antonio had led 67-66 with just over four minutes left in the third, but two sublime back-to-back three-pointers from Durant helped the Warriors pull clear to 74-67.
A 22-10 Golden State run helped them move, 88-77, ahead a double-digit deficit that the Spurs never looked like clawing back.
Three-pointers from Draymond Green and Quinn Cook put the Warriors 94-79 ahead and the only question from that point was the likely size of the victory margin. —
DWYANE WADE (#3) of the Miami Heat shoots the ball against Dario Saric (#9) of the Philadelphia 76ers in the fourth quarter during Game Two.