Wade’s old magic was the dif­fer­ence

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - SPORTS - Dave Hyde

He drove hard down the lane mid­way through the first quar­ter, drove into the Philadel­phia de­fense on the kind of night no one thought he would have, the kind no one was sure he even could have any­more.

Dwyane Wade then put up a floater right off some old high­light reel of 2006 or 2011. When it went in, that started some­thing no one could be even sure was started in the Heat’s 113-103 win in Game 2 Mon­day that tied this se­ries at one game apiece.

Wade fol­lowed up that made shot by mak­ing a long jumper. And then he drove again for a layup. He made first seven shots on his way to 28 points this night and, some­where in there, passed Larry Bird for 10th on the all-time play­off scor­ing mark.

That tells how long he’s been on the stage. This night showed what he can still do on it, right to the blessed end, when with the Heat start­ing to fade and Philadel­phia grab­bing the night, Wade grabbed it right back for the Heat.

With a dou­ble-digit lead down to two points, Wade knocked a ball free on de­fense, ran like a wide re­ceiver for a catch and break­away dunk. He then passed to James John­son, free at the rim, for an­other bas­ket. The Heat led 102-96 now.

He next grabbed an of­fen­sive re­bound, threw it to Go­ran Dragic for a short jumper. It was 104-96 now and the Heat had found their foot­ing again thanks to him.

He then ap­plied the dagger, a long jumper in the fi­nal minute that made it 106-98. That tells you what was at work this night. Ev­ery­one saw it, even if they felt they were in a Hot Tub Time Ma­chine.

No, it wasn’t just Wade. John­son and Wayne Elling­ton hit big shots. Jus­tise Winslow played the kind of tough de­fense on Sim­mons that was miss­ing in the opener. Go­ran Dragic was back to driv­ing hard and scor­ing.

In so many ways, this Game 2 was the one that showed who the Heat are and who a tal­ented Philadel­phia still can be. The 76ers are still young. The Heat are still tough.

“These guys re­spond to chal­lenges as well as any group I’ve been around,’’ Heat coach Erik Spoel­stra said min­utes be­fore the game.

Wade is 36 now. He has been the Heat’s eighth or ninth player for a while. In one

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