Dwyane Wade scored 28 points to help the Miami Heat earn a crucial playoff win.
No, this is not an old article. Wade came up huge in a bounce-back, 113-103 win over the Sixers in Game 2 at the Wells Fargo Center Monday night (see observations). The series is knotted at 1-1 heading to Miami on Thursday (7 p.m./NBCSP).
After being held to just 11 points in a Game 1 loss, the 36-year-old looked like his vintage self. He had the midrange game working and was looking for his shot much more on Monday night.
"It was more so about the mentality," Wade said when asked about the difference in Game 2. "I just came in with an aggressive approach. The minutes I was going to play, whatever I was going to do, I was going to do it aggressively. Once the ball starts falling for you, then it just goes from there. I definitely came in with that mentality tonight and as (teammate Justise) Winslow told me the other night, he told me, 'Empty the clip.' I didn't empty it, but I definitely came in with that mindset."
"It's amazing," Winslow said. "You see the work. I've seen the past three years really. It doesn't catch me by surprise but I love seeing it. I just keep telling him to empty the tank."
Wade certainly took that advice and ran with it, going 11 of 16 from the field for his 28 points. The future Hall of Famer took just seven shots last Saturday night.
To go along with a stagnant offense, the Sixers had no answer for Wade.
“It’s impressive," Sixers guard JJ Redick said. "I’ve been on the other end of a lot of his big games. He’s one of the all-time greats, and as he showed tonight, he still has it.”
It wasn't just on the offensive where Wade made his mark. With the Sixers closing the gap to two with a little over four minutes left, the wily veteran made a heady play. With Dario Saric holding the ball at the elbow, Wade came behind the unsuspecting Sixers forward and jarred the ball loose. It turned into a Wade dunk on the other end and seemed to crush the Sixers' momentum.
Wade saw the play coming.
"I watched that play go down earlier in the game when I was on the bench and then when I was in the game, so I told myself if they do that play later, I'm going to steal it," Wade said. "I definitely took a chance, but I thought it was a good gamble. It definitely gave us a little bit more confidence after they had the momentum."
Wade is no stranger to these big moments. Sure, it's the most points he's scored in a playoff game since he tallied 30 against the Raptors back on May 9, 2016, but he's a Finals MVP and three-time NBA champ.
It's not like he needs extra motivation to get it going.
But a famous fan provided it.
"When you got people like Kevin Hart talking on the sideline, when you got the crowd saying all the things they're saying, I heard a lot of things tonight, and it's all used as motivation," Wade said. "To be able to hush a whole crowd, that's a great feeling."