Wade hits at the buzzer, lifting Miami past Utah 104-102

Wade hits at the buzzer, lifting Miami past Utah 104-102

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(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Sports Writer

MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade was in the moment, even as his mind drifted back three years.

"Same spot," Wade said. "Same shot."

Same result.

Wade's 20-footer bounced off the rim and through the basket at the buzzer Saturday night, giving the Miami Heat a 104-102 win over the Utah Jazz.

The Heat wasted a 16-point second-half lead and trailed in the final minute, before Wade -- who also hit a buzzer-beating winner against the Jazz in Miami on Nov. 19, 2004 -- came through with the top highlight of Miami's thus-dismal season.

"I was just trying to be aggressive and got a shot," said Wade, who finished with 20 points. "It's big. It's big because we'd lost four of our last five games. This is a very good team and this shows the toughness of the team. We can build from here."

Shaquille O'Neal finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Daequan Cook had 15 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 28.2 seconds left.

Deron Williams scored 22 points, Andrei Kirilenko had 21 and C.J. Miles scored 14 of his 20 points in the fourth for Utah, which took its only lead of the second half on a pair of free throws by Matt Harpring with 46.3 seconds remaining.

But Wade set up Cook for a 3-pointer to put Miami back on top and, after Carlos Boozer tied it with a jumper, the 2006 NBA finals MVP came through with the winner.

Miami beat Utah for the eighth time in nine meetings, improving to 8-19 overall and 4-9 at home.

"I just hope seven, eight, nine games from now, somebody will say, 'Do you remember the bounce?"' Heat coach Pat Riley said. "Something like that can propel you."

Boozer, who entered averaging 25.2 points -- fourth-best in the NBA -- missed his first 10 shots and finished with a season-low 10. Paul Millsap added 12 points for Utah, which scored 39 in the fourth quarter and still fell short.

"We had a tough time stopping them," Jazz coach Jerry Sloan said. "But we did hang in there and give ourselves a chance at the end."

Miami led 50-42 at the half, in which there were two distinct trends.

--Utah couldn't make a free throw, going 5-for-15.

--The Jazz couldn't find a way to stop Earl Barron.

Yes, Earl Barron.

He didn't play in Miami's first 25 games this season, entered with all of 82 points in his career and is getting time now only because Alonzo Mourning is gone with torn knee and quadriceps tendons.

The former college star at Memphis took advantage. Barron scored 11 straight Miami points during one second-quarter stretch and scored all his 13 in the period.

"When your name gets called, you've got to perform," Barron said, "because you don't know when it'll get called again."

Deron Williams did his best to keep Utah close, going 6-for-8 from the floor in the half and scoring 13 points to go with five assists.

He also hurt Miami, albeit inadvertently, with his defense.

Wade was shaken up with 30.1 seconds left in the half after being called for charging into the Jazz point guard. He stayed in the game, but walked into the locker room at halftime holding his right shoulder and was clearly bothered at times in the second half.

At the end, though, Wade was just fine -- and afterward, Riley was so thrilled, the dapper-dressed coach unbuttoned his shirt to show an inside-out Converse T-shirt bearing Wade's "From Robbins, Illinois" motto.

"I'm not into winning anymore and I'm not into losing," Riley said. "I'm into fighting. I think we have to live for the fight."

The Heat found themselves in a fight down the stretch.

Miami led by 16 early in the third quarter and by 11 entering the fourth, before Miles -- a less-than-likely option, considering he entered averaging 3.5 points -- gave Utah hope.

Miles had 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the first 3:30 of the fourth to get Utah within six. And the Jazz kept battling from there, but simply couldn't stop Wade at the end.

"Sometimes great players make great plays," Boozer said.

Notes:@ Olympic beach volleyball gold medalist Misty May-Treanor and her husband, Florida Marlins catcher Matt Treanor, were courtside. ... Heat G Smush Parker was inactive for the 14th straight game since last month's incident with a female valet parking attendant. So, with PG Chris Quinn (left ankle) expected to miss a week, Miami's backcourt is short-handed. "We're working real hard to resolve it," Riley said when asked about Parker. ... The Jazz finished 1-3 on their four-game road trip and have lost eight of their last nine away from home.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.) APTV-12-22-07 2106MST


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