The Miami Heat snapped a five-game losing slide following a 91-85 win over the Milwaukee Bucks at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Friday night. The game marked the return of three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade to the squad after he was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Heat during Thursday’s deadline.
Miami had five players in double figures, led by Tyler Johnson, who started at the shooting guard spot together with Goran Dragic in the backcourt. Johnson netted 19 markers with six rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Dragic, who had an off-night shooting 1-of-11, scored six points with two boards and three assists as well.
Josh Richardson added 16 points while Hassan Whiteside contributed a solid 12 points and 16 rebounds in only 26 minutes. Rookie Bam Adebayo had 15 points and 10 boards coming off the bench while Wayne Ellington scored 11 points on 3-for-8 shooting from downtown.
Wade, who turned 36 last month, scored just three points in only 22 minutes coming off the bench for head coach Erik Spoelstra. He went 1-for-6 from the field with his lone field goal coming from the three-point line. The 12-time NBA All-Star also had two rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks in an inspiring effort.
Wade received a standing ovation from the Heat faithful when he was first inserted in the game halfway through the opening period. He threw a lob pass to Whiteside for an alley-oop dunk on his first touch of the ball, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
Cleveland traded Wade back to Miami for a second-round draft pick on Thursday as a part of three deadline day deals that shook up the Cavaliers’ roster. CBS Sports‘ Colin Ward-Henninger listed it as the third most important trade of the deadline, saying that it was a “triumphant return to Wade County.”
The Cavaliers reportedly asked Wade if he would be okay to remain in Cleveland albeit with a minor role moving forward, or if he would rather get traded back to Miami, where he spent the first 13 and most productive seasons of his career. Wade’s eventual response was surely expected.
SB Nation‘s Chris Manning reported that LeBron James was “happy as hell” for Wade. The two are known buddies off the court and had won two championships together with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.