He shot free throws like Shaquille O’Neal and had nearly as many turnovers as assists.
Yes, Dwyane Wade was rusty. The Miami Heat weren’t concerned, though, because he was also pain-free.
“I had a lot of turnovers tonight. I missed a lot of free throws,” Wade said. “But one thing about me, you don’t have to worry about that. I won’t do that too often.”
Wade’s struggles in his first game in 6 1/2 weeks helped the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Heat 111-103 in overtime Sunday. The NBA finals MVP played 27 minutes, scoring 12 points on 3-for-9 shooting from the field and 6-for-12 from the foul line. He had eight assists but committed six of Miami’s season-high 26 turnovers.
“It’s exciting to get back, but at the end of the day, you always want to win. You always want to come back and help your team win,” Wade said. “I came back and at times, I looked OK and at times, I didn’t.”
But although Wade’s play wasn’t always good, his news after the game was.
“No pain tonight,” Wade said.
In other games, it was: Detroit 87, Cleveland 82; Phoenix 115, the Los Angeles Lakers 107; Toronto 103, Chicago 89; Philadelphia 109, Atlanta 104 in overtime; and Houston 112, Sacramento 106.
Gerald Wallace scored 30 points and Walter Herrmann hit two big 3-pointers in the final minute for the Bobcats, who not only ruined Wade’s return but also hurt Miami’s hope of having a home-court edge for the first playoff round.
Wearing a black sleeve to help protect his dislocated left shoulder, Wade played for the first time since a Feb. 21 injury that forced him to miss 23 games. He entered with 3:58 left in the first quarter, as fans roared when he rose from the bench to check into the game.
Wade helped Miami rally to tie the game early in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t come through down the stretch. He made only one of two free throws with a chance to give the Heat the lead with 2.4 seconds left in regulation.
The Bobcats then went 6-for-7 in the extra session, with Herrmann going 3-for-3, all from 3-point range.
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” Heat coach Pat Riley said.
Suns 115, Lakers 107
At Los Angeles, Steve Nash had 25 points and 11 assists for his career-best 50th double-double, and Phoenix moved 2 1/2 games ahead of San Antonio for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference.
Leandro Barbosa scored 23 points, Raja Bell added 22, and Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and nine rebounds for Pacific Division champion Phoenix (58-19), which won for the fifth time in its last six games.
Kobe Bryant had 34 points and seven assists and Smush Parker added 25 points and six assists before fouling out for the Lakers (40-37), who lost for the fifth time in seven games and fell into seventh place in the West – a half-game behind the Denver Nuggets. The teams meet Monday night in Denver.
Pistons 87, Cavaliers 82
At Auburn Hills, Mich., Richard Hamilton scored 21 points and Chauncey Billups had 14 points and 12 assists to direct Detroit’s balanced attack.
The Pistons have won four of five to maintain their cushion over Chicago and Cleveland – which has lost seven of 12 – for the best record in the conference. Starting for just the third time this season, Antonio McDyess had 18 points, a season-high 13 rebounds and three blocks.
Unlike in the previous meeting, the Pistons kept LeBron James in check. He had 20 points on 5-of-16 shooting, six assists, five turnovers and five rebounds.
Raptors 103, Bulls 89
At Toronto, Anthony Parker scored a career-high 27 points and Chris Bosh had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who clinched their first Atlantic Division title last Friday and their first playoff spot in five years last month.
Toronto has won eight of 10 to move within 1 1/2 games of Chicago and Cleveland for the second-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Ben Gordon had 27 points for the Bulls, who lost for the second time in eight games. Andres Nocioni returned to Chicago’s lineup after missing 28 games with plantar fasciitis. He had three points in eight minutes.
Rockets 112, Kings 106
At Sacramento, Calif., Tracy McGrady had 40 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds in his return from a back injury, Yao Ming scored 18 points, and Houston snapped a three-game losing streak.
Yao and McGrady missed the Rockets’ loss to Portland on Friday with back problems, but both returned impressively as Houston pulled within a half-game of the Utah Jazz for the Western Conference’s fourth-best record.
Kevin Martin scored 24 points and Francisco Garcia had 16 for the Kings, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games to practically guarantee the end of their eight-year streak of playoff appearances.
76ers 109, Hawks 104, OT
At Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala scored 25 points and the 76ers rallied from a 17-point third-quarter deficit.
Samuel Dalembert finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia, while Willie Green scored 14 points and Rodney Carney added 13.
Tyronn Lue scored 24 points to lead Atlanta, while Marvin Williams scored 21 but missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 8.6 seconds left.
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