Last night was just another night in the NBA—guys scoring 35 on eight threes, big leads being blown, and the Warriors scoring over 120 points. But, at about 10:00 PM ET, one Miami Heat player who wears #3 and was sporting cornrows last night, decided the evening would change course.
The Heat led by as many as 24 points against the Warriors yesterday, before completely imploding and blowing the lead. Kevin Durant completed a four-point play with just over a minute left. With 13 seconds left and the team down by four, D-Wade hit a three. Then Kevin Durant could only split his free throws, and with Miami out of timeouts, it was going to be a prayer thrown up, with the team hoping it would drop and give them OT or the win.
The possession looked to be going nowhere. D-Wade was blocked with one second left, but then he re-gathered, stepped back beyond the arc, and simultaneously heaved up a prayer. After it hung in the air for a good five-to-six seconds, he banked it in! Dwyane Wade hit the game-winning three to give the Heat the win! They have struggled to win games of late, even taking a loss against the Phoenix Suns over the weekend. But in a game they just would not quit in, even after blowing the deficit, D-Wade delivered. And a year earlier, on the exact same date, he came through with a game-winner, just two weeks into his Miami return.
And once the shot happened, all you had to do was log on to Twitter and spend 30 seconds there to realize the magnitude of what had happened. Mike Miller was out there saluting his former teammate, with Isaiah Thomas speaking for the whole basketball community when he said: “Don’t retire D-Wade!” He’s going through his final season, his #OneLastDance, and he’s making memorable moments throughout it. He has been scoring the ball effectively all season, and last night was no exception.
Game-winner aside, Wade was still playing marvelously. He shot 10-17 from the floor, including going 5-8 from three, after having three games in a row without a make from deep. He scored 25 points, grabbed seven boards, dishes out three assists, and blocked two shots. He is 37 years young and still looking like he is not far removed from his prime out there. Father prime as he has been called a lot in the past few years, is right at home in Miami. As long as he on the Heat and repping #3, he will be making big shots and leaving the crowd enamored.
For the season, Wade has averaged 14.3 points per game while shooting 43%, and a career-best 33% from three. He’s grabbing four rebounds while also dishing out four assists. And this is the first full season in his entire career that he has operated as the sixth man. It was unclear if he would start or come off the bench when the team first acquired him last year at the deadline, but he has come to terms with being one of the best closers in the league while serving as the primary backup.
On the night that Goran Dragic made his return to relevance with 27 points off the Miami bench in just 20 minutes of action, D-Wade decided to steal the show. His final season continues to show impressive results, with their win pulling them to within a half-game of the #8 spot in the conference. #OneLastDance is going to have to end with a playoff trip and a Wade playoff game-winner for the fans at American Airlines Arena. It has to.