Dwyane Wade established tonight’s Game 2 against the 76ers as a Dwyane Wade Night, a performance bound to get the word “vintage” repeatedly attached to it, pretty early on: certainly before the end of the first half, by which point he’d scored 21 on 8-for-9 shooting off the bench. In the second quarter, he’d outperformed the Sixers all on his own, with 15 points to the team’s 13. But the moment when the night felt completely and unquestionably his didn’t come until a bit later. Toward the end of the third quarter, Wade gave the Heat their biggest lead of the night thus far with this absurd shot:
Wade didn’t look 36 years old, and the Sixers didn’t remotely look like the team that had just won 17 games in a row, including a breezy victory in Game 1.
But early in the fourth quarter, Philly woke up, and holy shit, maybe the final takeaway here wasn’t going to be that it was a Dwyane Wade Night, after all. With a little under nine minutes remaining, Dario Saric cut the Sixers’ deficit to single digits with a three-pointer, and a few minutes after that, he whittled it down to four points with a driving layup. With just under four-and-a-half minutes to play, Ersan Ilyasova finally brought Philly within two.
But Wade didn’t let them get any closer than that. He stepped in from there, with a steal on the Sixers’ next possession and a dunk for good measure:
That was effectively it for the Sixers, ultimately falling by a score of 113-103.
Wade finished with 28 points, more than he’d scored in any other game this year. Are the Heat going to win another game in this series? Very possibly not. But damn if tonight wasn’t a blast.