Dwyane Wade scored 15 of the Miami Heat’s last 17 points, including the game-winning shot with 5.9 seconds left, to lead his team to a 102-101 victory over the up-and-coming Philadelphia 76ers at the AmericanAirlines Arena on Monday night.
The 36-year-old veteran, who has been rumored to be contemplating retirement at the end of the season, netted a game-high 27 points and also contributed three steals, a rebound, and an assist in only 25 minutes coming off Erik Spoelstra’s bench. What stood out in Wade’s vintage performance was how reliable he still is during the clutch moments of a game.
Spoelstra re-inserted Wade in the 5:55 mark of the fourth quarter and the three-time NBA champion quickly made his presence felt at crunch time.
Wade netted 10 straight points on jumpers and floaters in the lane to keep the Heat within striking distance of the Sixers, who kept on taking the lead via Joel Embiid’s inside moves and free throws from Dario Saric and J.J. Redick.
Wade then assisted on a Hassan Whiteside hook shot before getting fouled by Saric while shooting a three-pointer with only 27 seconds remaining and Philly up by three. He made all the free throws to tie the count before fouling and sending Ben Simmons to the line with a little under 24 seconds left on the clock.
Simmons missed the first and drained the second, which set up Wade’s masterful game-winner. The future Hall of Famer held on to the ball in that possession, zigzagging his way around Simmons’ defense before burying the long jumper that secured the win for the home team.
Just recently, Wade admitted in an interview with Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson that he is “unsure” whether he is going to play beyond this season or not. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded him back to the Heat at this year’s deadline, with the Cavs citing Wade’s diminished role in Cleveland’s ongoing youth movement as the main reason.
Wade is now on his 15th season in the league. He has won three NBA titles — all with the Heat — and was named 12 times as an NBA All-Star. He was chosen as the Finals MVP during Miami’s title run in 2006 against the Dallas Mavericks and was a scoring champion in 2009.