The Miami Heat welcomed back Dwyane Wade on Friday night, and the superstar led a highlight-filled 99-89 victory over the New York Knicks. After missing two weeks with an ankle injury, Wade came back and immediately took control of the game in the first quarter. He put up 18 points in the first half alone, and finished with 28 on 11 of 19 from the floor. He showed no signs of the injury, as he raced up and down the court creating one highlight after another with LeBron James. In the final two minutes, he had an amazing block of Toney Douglas, springing off the ankle as he backpedaled down the lane against the Knicks' point guard.
With Wade back in the fold, LeBron James seemed infused with energy, taking alley-oops from his good friend and fellow All-Star. James had a game-high 31 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and dishing seven assists. But the Knicks kept it close throughout by chucking (and hitting) from behind the arc. Bill Walker went crazy, hitting seven three-pointers, including a stretch in the third quarter where he hit threes on three consecutive possessions. The Knicks, who were playing without Carmelo Anthony, eventually ran out of firepower. Miami clamped down on the defensive end in the fourth quarter and pulled out the 99-89 win.
The Heat now host the team with the best record in the league, the Chicago Bulls, in the Sunday afternoon ABC game of the week
After sitting out two weeks with an ankle injury, Dwyane Wade made his return for the Miami Heat on Friday night at American Airlines Arena. And he made an immediate impact against the New York Knicks, putting on a 24-minute highlight show with LeBron James that gave Miami a 52-48 halftime lead. Wade finished the half with 18 points, connecting with James on an array of fast break dunks. LeBron added 14 points and was superb in his own right against a Knicks team playing without Carmelo Anthony. James took an alley-oop on the break from Wade and went high up into the square to bring it down and ignite the crowd.
Despite the brilliance of James and Wade, the Knicks are right there and trail by only four after a hot-shooting half from three-point range. The Knicks took a whopping 23 attempts from behind the arc, but hit ten of them to maintain some rhythm on the offensive end. Bill Walker, playing increased time with the absence of Anthony, was exposed on the defensive end by James but he did hit four of six three-pointers to lead New York with 12 points.
Two of the marquee NBA franchises will be meeting on Friday night in Miami, but unfortunately for those in attendance or those who plan on watching from home, it won't feature one of the premiere match ups in the game. Ever since they were drafted Nos. 1 and 3 overall in the 2003 NBA Draft, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have had a little rivalry. Unfortunately, they won't be able to renew it tonight.
Carmelo taking next two games off to rest his injuries, D'Antoni says. Could return tues.
But the news isn't so horrible on the injury front. Eddy Curry might be able to play and Dwyane Wade might make his return to the lineup. But fans will be deprived of arguably the best small forward matchup in the game.
We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day on SB Nation Tampa Bay, so keep it locked to this StoryStream. For more on this game from a Heat perspective, check out Pennisula is Mightier. For a view from the other bench, there is always Posting and Toasting, SB Nation's Knicks blog. And for more on this and every other game, check out the SB Nation NBA hub page.