LOS ANGELES – Dwyane Wade was back in the Miami lineup looking like he had never left as the all-star guard scored 28 points to lift the Heat to a 99-89 win over the New York Knicks on Friday.
LeBron James had a game-high 31 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Chris Bosh chipped in with 13 points for the first-place Heat, who have an 8-2 record at home and are 14-5 overall.
Toney Douglas had a team-high 16 points and Landry Fields finished with 14 points and seven rebounds for the struggling Knicks, who have lost eight of their last nine games.
The Heat win was highlighted by high-flying dunks, precision passing and some excellent defence. But no one was more spectacular than Wade, who had missed the last six games with a sprained right ankle suffered in a January 13 loss at Denver.
Miami was careful with their treatment of the injury making sure that the 30-year-old Wade sat out just long enough to get healthy but also making sure he stayed in game shape.
Prior to the injury, Wade was averaging 19.6 points, 5.4 assists and 4.3 rebounds in nine games.
Wade shot 11-of-19 from the floor and added four assists Friday for the Southeast Division leaders, who led 52-48 at halftime.
The Knicks sank 18 three-pointers on Friday but looked nothing like the team that won two of four contests against the Heat last year.
The Knicks have been held to 91 points or less in their last two games as they have one more game left on their current four-game road swing.
New York was without their all-star Carmelo Anthony, who was out with a sore thumb. He is also expected to miss their next game Saturday in Houston, Texas.
The Knicks are still awaiting the season debut of 32-year-old point guard Baron Davis.
Davis signed with New York in December but has yet to play as he recovers from a back injury.