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Wade finishes tough stretch with strong effort

Dwyane Wade, shown driving against Toronto's John Salmons, played on consecutive nights for the first time since mid-November.
Dwyane Wade, shown driving against Toronto's John Salmons, played on consecutive nights for the first time since mid-November.
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After putting together back-to-back 30-point games for the second time this season, LeBron James has recovered quite nicely after scoring a season-low 15 points in Heat’s 110-94 weekend win at Orlando.

Two nights after scoring 30 in the Heat’s 102-97 win over the Toronto Raptors, James came back with 32 two nights later in a 107-88 romp past the New Orleans Pelicans.

Though those are good numbers, obviously, of more significance in the three wins was the play of Dwyane Wade.

To be more precise, it was the fact he did play all three games that is of note.

The games Saturday and Sunday against Orlando and Toronto marked the first time since mid-November that the veteran guard had played on consecutive nights.

The game against New Orleans was played after just one day off, meaning Wade played in three games over a four-night span for the first time this season.

Wade, who has missed seven of the Heat’s first 34 games mostly to give his tender knees some rest, said he “felt good” coming out of the win over the Pelicans.

“I wanted to test it out tonight really in my mind to see how it goes,” he said. “It went pretty well. I felt better tonight than it did the other night. So it’s all positive, all good things, moving in the right direction.”

Wade not only played, he played well in all three games.

In 34 minutes against the Pelicans, he was 9-of-15 from the field for 22 points and had eight assists -- his third game this season with at least that many -- along with five rebounds. And he was playing with energy down the stretch, hitting all three of his shot attempts and scoring 10 of his points in the fourth quarter.

He scored only 14 points but had a season-high nine rebounds against the Raptors, and he had 20 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Magic.

In those three games combined, the Heat outscored their opposition 47 points in the time he was on the floor.

It was a good, solid performance, but another test is coming up.

The Heat are getting ready for two more back-to-back affairs, albeit the first doesn’t involve any traveling between games. They play the Knicks in New York’s Madison Square Garden on Thursday night (TNT) and then the Nets in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Friday night (Sun Sports).

Those contests are the first two of six in a row on the road for the Heat, but there is a five-day break in between with the third game Wednesday night at Washington.

They then are at Philadelphia on Jan. 17 and at Charlotte on Jan. 18. They finish up the stretch at Atlanta on Jan. 20.

The extensive time on the road is the price the Heat pay in giving up their AmericanAirlines Arena home to the circus for two weekends in January.

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