Miami Heat

Dwyane Wade’s flashback performance wasted by Heat in loss to Jazz

Dwyane Wade shoots over Gordon Hayward in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat's game against the Utah Jazz at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
Dwyane Wade shoots over Gordon Hayward in the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat's game against the Utah Jazz at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. El Nuevo Herald

For a moment Wednesday it looked like an already tough start to the season for the Heat might get worse.

Dwyane Wade rose up for a jump shot and then landed awkwardly on the court after drawing a shooting foul with 7:42 to go in the first half. Wade, lying on his side, reached for the back of his right thigh and hip.

It turned out to be just a false alarm. Wade was fine — better than fine actually. He poured in a season-high 42 points — his first 40-point game since Game4 of the 2012 Eastern Conference finals against the Indiana Pacers.

The rest of the Heat had a much rougher night.

The Utah Jazz, loser of 12 of its past 13 coming in, shot 53 percent from the field, 14 of 25 from three-point range, and drilled the Heat 105-87 on Wednesday, handing Miami its fourth consecutive double-digit loss at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Being aggressive like that was a positive for me,” Wade said. “I will take that. But as a team, we just have to be better man.

“It's hard when you lose even when you have a good individual performance. The way we lost, I’m not used to that. Not at home.”

Gordon Hayward led the way for Utah (7-19) with 29 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Five Jazz players finished in double figures. If not for a late three-pointer by Mario Chalmers, who finished with 11 points on 3-of-13 shooting, Wade would have been the only Heat player to score in double figures.

Miami, off to a 4-8 start at home, has six more chances to snap its home losing streak before the end of the year. The second of seven consecutive home games is Friday against the division-leading Washington Wizards.

To put the rough home start in perspective, the Heat was 32-9 at home last season, 37-4 when it last won the NBA championship in 2012-13 and 28-5 at home the year before that in the lockout-shortened season. The last time the Heat dropped its fourth in a row at home was March 8, 2011 — the first season LeBron James was here.

“It’s something we have to figure out,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It’s not for a lack of want. Guys want to do it. You saw a little bit of a different personality [against Brooklyn on Tuesday] compared to [Wednesday].”

Miami’s injury woes have been well documented this season. The Heat’s lineup to start the second quarter told the story: Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, Shawne Williams and rookies James Ennis and Shabazz Napier.

None of those players — except Chalmers — were expected to play major roles this season. On Wednesday, Spoelstra put out his 11th different starting lineup this season with Chris “Birdman” Andersen making his first start.

“Just [wanted] a little bit more size — trying to take care of the paint and rebound,” Spoelstra said of his decision to start Andersen.

Leading scorer Chris Bosh, expected to miss a couple of weeks with a strained calf, watched in street clothes Wednesday as he missed his third game in row.

Wade, who fought off a stomach virus and scored 28 points in a 95-91 win Tuesday in Brooklyn, made it a point early to carry the scoring load again with Bosh out. He shot 12 of 19 from the field and was 16 of 21 from the free-throw line.

The rest of the Heat shot 15 of 51 from the field (29.4 percent) and 13 of 19 from the line.

“It’s encouraging for us to see him play a back-to-back like that,” Spoekstra said of Wade. “We just collectively have to play better.”

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