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News » Wade rises to challenge: Heat star lights up scoreboard for 43 in victory over Suns

Wade rises to challenge: Heat star lights up scoreboard for 43 in victory over Suns

Wade rises to challenge: Heat star lights up scoreboard for 43 in victory over Suns
Nov. 29--PHOENIX -- This wasn't about squaring off with Shaq for the first time since last season's trade.

It wasn't about Shawn Marion's return to U.S. Airways Center.

And it wasn't about the removal of Michael Beasley from the starting lineup.

It was about what it always is about when the Heat produces something special:

Dwyane Wade.

With Wade silky smooth with his jumpers, pausing every now and then for dramatic effect with a dunk, the Heat pounded Shaquille O'Neal and the Suns 107-92 Friday night.

Then again, to be fair, this also was about the Suns' best player. Two-time MVP Steve Nash was held out after taking a knee to the thigh late in Wednesday's victory in Minnesota.

"Dwyane was sensational, just so efficient and aggressive," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Dwyane was magnificent -- and they were without their MVP."

For all the lineup machinations, including rookie Sean Singletary starting in place of Nash, none of it mattered as much as Wade feathering in jumper after jumper.

Wade shot 15 of 24 from the field and 11 of 12 from the line for a season-high 43 points. He was coming off a season-low 12 points in Wednesday's 106-68 humiliation in Portland.

"I was on a mission to bounce back from the last game," Wade said. "My shot was there. This time I focused all the way through it."

The set up to the game was all about O'Neal.

In a show of compassion for 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem, who had started the previous 15 games at center, Spoelstra gave Joel Anthony his first start of the season and utilized Jamaal Magloire off the bench against O'Neal.

That not only made No. 2 overall draft pick Michael Beasley a reserve for the first time in his brief NBA career, but also limited Beasley to 13 minutes.

"I thought Joel gave us great energy and a little more size," Spoelstra said. "It wasn't an indictment against Michael."

Beasley finished scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting.

"I was kind of lost, kind of confused what my role was," Beasley said, "but as long as we're winning I don't need a role."

O'Neal finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting and nine rebounds. Marion closed with 10 points and nine rebounds in his return, after being dealt along with guard Marcus Banks at last season's trade deadline for O'Neal.

Ira Winderman can be reached at

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Added: November 30, 2008


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