Wade's 41 points lift Heat

The Baltimore Sun

Dwyane Wade scored 41 points, 10 in the final 8 1/2 minutes, to help the Miami Heat rally in the fourth quarter and beat the visiting Charlotte Bobcats, 100-96, last night.

Mario Chalmers scored 15 and Shawn Marion added 13 points for the Heat (12-9), which extended its winning streak to four - its longest in nearly two years.

Jason Richardson scored 24 for Charlotte (7-14) but missed two free throws that would have tied the game with 32.3 seconds remaining. Emeka Okafor added 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, who lost to Miami for only the second time in the teams' past eight meetings.

The Bobcats were without starting forward Gerald Wallace, who was in Alabama to mourn the death of his grandmother. Charlotte coach Larry Brown said he expected Wallace to return to the team Friday - meaning the 15.3-point scorer will likely miss games at New Orleans and Dallas this week.

Warriors 112, Thunder 102: Andris Biedrins has 17 points and 21 rebounds, and visiting Golden State (6-15) ended its nine-game skid by holding off a late surge led by Kevin Durant, who scored a season-high 41 and helped Oklahoma City (2-20) rally from 21 down to within three in the fourth quarter.

Grizzlies 109, Rockets 97: Rudy Gay (Archbishop Spalding)scored 20 points, Hakim Warrick and O.J. Mayo added 18 points apiece and Memphis (6-15) won its second straight at home. Luis Scola had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Rafer Alston had 16 points and eight assists for the injury-depleted Rockets (13-8). Von Wafer added 15 points, and Yao Ming and Aaron Brooks finished with 14 apiece.

Off the court

Timberwolves: : Randy Wittman was fired as coach, two days after an embarrassing 23-point loss at home to the last-place Clippers. Kevin McHale took over as coach, leaving his job as vice president of basketball operations.

The young team is 4-15 and has not responded to Wittman's demands for tough defense and consistent effort. The Timberwolves are in the midst of a five-game losing streak in which the average margin of defeat has been nearly 17 points.

"There were certain goals and expectations that we had for this team at the start of the season, and we have not lived up to them," Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor said in a statement.

"I am disappointed in our record and believe that we have more talent than our record indicates. A change had to be made and with three-fourths of the season remaining, there is still time to make substantial progress this year," he added.

This was the fourth NBA coaching firing this season after P.J. Carlesimo (Oklahoma City), Eddie Jordan (Washington) and Sam Mitchell (Toronto).

Jazz: : Forward Carlos Boozer is hoping to return to the lineup this week after missing the past 10 games with a strained tendon in his left thigh. Also, guard Brevin Knight was back with the team after spending Saturday night in a Phoenix hospital. Knight was hit in the throat when he collided with Phoenix's Goran Dragic in the first half Saturday.

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