Wade, who turns 34 on Jan. 17, is playing much younger this season.
He proved it again Monday night when he made the game's most crucial
shot -- a layup at the regulation buzzer -- in what became a 103-100
Heat overtime victory over the Indiana Pacers at AmericanAirlines
"Dwyane is our Benjamin Button," Spoelstra said, referencing the
movie "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
Forward Chris Bosh led the Heat with 31 points and 11 rebounds, and
Wade added 27 points and eight boards as Miami (21-13) won its third
Indiana (19-15) lost despite getting 32 points from forward Paul
Wade played 38 minutes -- impressive considering the Heat played at
Washington on Sunday night.
"Can't we put the back-to-back thing to rest?" Wade said of the
Heat's pattern of resting the oft-injured guard in recent years.
Indeed, Wade, who has missed an average of 24 games in each of the
past four years, has been largely healthy this season.
That was a factor Monday as Indiana blew an 18-point, third-quarter
lead. Miami took its first lead with 3:11 left in the fourth quarter
on a technical free throw by Bosh.
With 16 seconds left in the fourth quarter, guard Monta Ellis hit a
15-foot jumper to give Indiana a 94-93 lead.
However, Miami sent the game to overtime at 95-95 on Wade's layup.
Wade worked off a crucial pick set by Bosh on George and then beat
the help defense provided by guard Rodney Stuckey.
"At that time, it's me, (Bosh) or (point guard) Goran (Dragic),
whoever is running the pick-and-roll," Wade said of who was going to
take the big shot. "Chris is a great target to have.
"I told everybody (in the Heat huddle) that I was going to the
basket. If (Pacers defenders) were going to collapse, I would have
kicked it for a (3-pointer). But I had a lane, and I didn't want to
settle for a jump shot."
Indiana coach Frank Vogel said the Pacers had to guard against
Miami's 3-point shooters.
"You have to honor Bosh," he said. "They got a good screen, and we
gave (Wade) too much of an angle to turn the corner."
The start of the game was delayed 26 minutes because of a lighting
[to top of second column]
Miami's offense was delayed, too. The Heat trailed 9-0 and 15-3
early. Indiana settled for a 29-19 lead after the first quarter as
Miami went 0-for-7 on 3-pointers and shot 28 percent overall.
One of the most spectacular plays in the first quarter came when
Dragic fired a 45-foot alley-oop pass that led to a Wade left-handed
dunk. The pass was perfectly placed, just over the outstretched
hands of Indiana guard Joe Young.
The Heat, led by Bosh's 10 second-quarter points, cut the deficit to
47-44 at halftime.
Wade led all third-quarter scorers with 13 points, and Bosh led all
fourth-quarter scorers, also with 13 points.
"They have two All-Stars," Vogel said of Bosh and Wade. "They seem
George, who went scoreless in overtime, said his knee was bothering
"Defensively, when I had to change (directions), it was hard to push
off," George said. "I was limping the whole time."
NOTES: Pacers PG George Hill (food poisoning) sat out. To replace
Hill, the Pacers moved 6-foot-3 SG Monta Ellis to the point. The
Pacers started 6-6 SG C.J. Miles in Ellis' spot. Miles, though,
played just seven minutes due to a sprained shoulder. ... Heat C
Hassan Whiteside (bruised knee) sat out a game for the first time
this season. He got hurt in Sunday's game at Washington. To replace
Whiteside, Miami gave C Chris "Birdman" Andersen, 37, his first
start this season. Andersen, who started 20 games last season, was
minus-24 in 10 minutes Monday, and he scored two points. ... Heat F
Josh McRoberts, who has not played since Dec. 9 due to a knee
bruise, sat out again but is now traveling with the team. He appears
close to a return. ... F Chris Bosh is the only Miami player to
start every game this season. ... Indiana's road trip continues
Wednesday at Orlando against the Magic. ... Miami plays host to the
New York Knicks on Wednesday.
[© 2016 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2016 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.