The Heat, however, down 3-1, are trying to extend the series pretty much by relying on the same formula that got them a win in Game 4. Dwyane Wade dropped a ridiculous 46 points, setting a franchise high in the process, and if he has to do it again, he said he will. He’s been the definition of a one-man wrecking crew this series, averaging 33. points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists for the series.
But even Wade knows he still has plenty of work to do to delay the start of Miami’s offseason, which will include his pending free agency.
Wade said Monday he might not be able to duplicate his record-setting performance from Game 4, but that he would approach Tuesday with the same all-out abandon he showed in 2006.
“That’s what it’s going to take,” Wade said. “We have no `wait until next game’ in us. We lose and that’s the season. We’ll see how much it means to us to keep it alive.”
Wade was certain to emphasize “we” as he spoke about Miami’s mission. Nationally, Wade might be considered a one-man show, but his supporting cast has performed better the past two games.
Forward Michael Beasley has scored in double figures in three consecutive games, and swingman Quentin Richardson had 20 points in Game 4, which was the second-highest playoff total of his career.
“When he gets it going like that, it spreads like wildfire,” Beasley said of Wade. “We all get confidence. It’s not a lot of pressure. The pressure is when he’s having an off night and might shoot 6 for 20. That’s when somebody’s got to step up and carry the load.”
The inconsistent play early in the series has put the Heat in a hole that has forced Wade to do more heavy lifting. And just when the burden seemed to wear him down — severe cramps and dehydration forced Wade out of the final moments of a 100-98 loss in Game 3 — he bounced back in peak form.
After missing 11 free throws and watching lay-ups they normally make rim out down the stretch Sunday, the Celtics are worried about taking care of the little things. A long film session yesterday, ensured they saw everything for their nine first quarter turnovers to their missed defensive rotations. To close the series out, they’ll have to tighten those things up first. They’ll be watching the winner of tonight’s game between Cleveland and Chicago, with Cleveland on the verge of closing it out themselves.
More to come.