Dwyane Wade has his defining retirement-season moment.
In his house.
Everything after this? Pure "One Last Dance" gravy.
If there was to be a signature moment in this 16th and final NBA season for Wade, this was it, his final three points on his 25-point night for the Miami Heat producing a stunning 126-125 victory Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena.
And truly remarkable.
"It was just an amazing moment," Wade said after exulting on the court, "especially with what we have been going through. A lot of close games and losing them. For me that was special and it was fun."
And the Warriors knew what was coming.
"I knew it was going in as soon as it left his hand," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Or as Warriors guard Stephen Curry said, "Moments like this just kind of remind you how great he is."
With Wade striking a familiar pose on the broadcast table as another reminder.
"His raw, genuine emotion after the play is the favorite one that I've seen," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "That raw joy is what it's all about."
Unless you are on the other side.
"I'd much rather see him jumping on the scorer's table when we're not on the court with him," Curry said. "But those are iconic moments that he's had. Deep down it was cool to see, even though we lost."
It even left Wade giddy.
"It is an out-of-body experience," he said.
Spoelstra had a simple goal going into this one, "I'd like to find some consistency and finish a game at home."
And finish they did.
With a little help from an old friend.
The Heat certainly provided themselves with an ample cushion, pushing to a 24-point lead and sustaining double-digit leads into the fourth quarter.
In the end, there was enough to overcome 36 points from Klay Thompson, 29 from Kevin Durant and 25 from Stephen Curry.
The Heat got 27 points from Goran Dragic, the 25 from Wade and 21 from Josh Richardson.
After pushing to their 24-point second-quarter lead and standing ahead 74-58 at halftime, the Heat went into the fourth quarter up 100-92.
From there, it went back and forth, until, fouled was Durant with 13.9 seconds to play and the Warriors up 124-123. He made only the second of his two foul shots.
That left the Heat with the ball, without a timeout, but with Wade on their side.
"After KD hit the free throw, I came down and had an isolation on [Andre] Iguodala," Wade said. "As I turned my back, he kind of hit the ball. So I dribbled it out and I saw Dion [Waiters] coming. So I flicked it to him. I thought he was going to raise and shoot, but when he took the dribble they remembered he hit a shot similar, so they doubled him.
"He found me and as I was going to shoot I saw KD flying at me, so I tried to pump-fake him. I tried to shoot the shot and he blocked it. All I could think about is that there was a little time left on the clock and get my foot behind the 3-point line and try to get it up on the rim and it went in."
"This," Spoelstra said, "is what Hall of Fame players do."
"It kind of felt like March Madness again," guard Justise Winslow said.
Five degrees of Heat from Wednesday's game:
1. Dragic's determination: Dragic again played off the bench, but this time offered a starter's contribution, including opening 4 of 5 3-pointers, as well as drawing a three-shot foul on another attempt.
For as passive as the Heat were at the trading deadline other than with luxury-tax moves, Dragic stands to be the biggest plus for the final two months of the season.
His 20-point second quarter set a Heat record for a reserve in a quarter with his 25-point first half also a Heat record for a reserve. His second period was two points off the Heat scoring record for a second quarter.
Winslow again opened at point guard.
2. Kelly can: Continuing to start at power forward, Kelly Olynyk has shown an ability to create meaningful minutes even against a quicker opponent, with Wednesday night the latest example in his matchup against Draymond Green, who fouled out with five points and three rebounds.
"He knows that this league is getting quicker, faster," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Most of his minutes this year have been at the four rather than the five compared to last year. And he's adapted, and that's what's required."
Olynyk was 5 of 5 from the field in the first half.
3. No Whiteside: The Heat were without starting center Hassan Whiteside due to a hip strain.
"Not exactly sure when it happened," Spoelstra said of the moment of impact during Monday's loss to the Phoenix Suns. "He did fall on it and then when we were trapping at the end, it might have aggravated it a little bit, as well."
That had Bam Adebayo in the opening lineup at center, leaving the Heat with their 23rd starting lineup.
The Heat remained without forward James Johnson for a third consecutive game due to a shoulder injury, but got Winslow back after he missed two games with knee soreness.
Rodney McGruder, who missed Monday's loss with a sore knee, also was back.
4. Dog days?: When the Warriors feel behind 32-22 in the first period, it marked the eighth time in their last 11 games they had trailed by 10 or more.
Kerr going in said, "To be frank, our habits have been awful the last couple of weeks."
Kerr also stressed his team hardly is in playoff mode.
"We aren't ready for that yet," he said.
The Warriors' 24-point deficit in the second period was their largest first-half deficit of the season, trailing at halftime for the fourth times in six games.
The Warriors were without starting center DeMarcus Cousins, opting to rest him for Thursday night's road game against the Orlando Magic, as he works back from last season's Achilles tear.
5. Haslem time: With Olynyk called for his fourth foul and little in reserve in the power rotation, Spoelstra turned to Udonis Haslem with two minutes left in the third quarter.
It was Haslem first action since he played 29 seconds in Sacramento when Wade briefly left after a hard fall.
Prior to that, Haslem's previous action was when he played 8 minutes in the Dec. 8 road victory over the Clippers. He went into Wednesday's game having played 15 minutes over four appearances this season.
Haslem immediately went out and added to his franchise-record rebounding totals. His first shot attempt in nearly three months was a missed 3-pointer.
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