"That has to change," Wade said.
Miami is off to a fine start in that quest.
Wade had 20 points and eight assists, Michael Beasley finished with 17 and the Heat scored a whopping 41 points off turnovers to easily beat the Sacramento Kings 103-77 in their home opener Friday night.
It was the biggest victory margin for Miami (1-1) since it beat Chicago by 33 points on March 7, 2007, and already, the Heat have gotten to a place last year's club never saw: the .500 mark. The 26-point win also matched the largest in a Miami home opener and gave rookie coach Erik Spoelstra his first victory, one day before he'll celebrate his 38th birthday with a game in Charlotte.
His rewards? The game ball and being in the middle of a 16-man locker room hug.
"They tried to mess up my hair," Spoelstra said.
They messed up everything Sacramento tried.
A 39-13 run over the middle two quarters turned it into a rout for Miami, which gave up 60 points in each half at New York on Wednesday -- but looked nothing like the defensively challenged club that took the floor at Madison Square Garden.
"And I think we can get better," Heat forward Shawn Marion said.
Sacramento didn't hit the 60-point mark until 6:35 remained, and has lost 18 of its last 20 games in Miami.
"There is no explanation for it," Sacramento coach Reggie Theus said.
Udonis Haslem scored 14 points for the Heat. Marion finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and like Wade, they both sat out the entire fourth quarter. Daequan Cook scored 13 points and Mark Blount added 10.
"They came out right away, set the tone and buried us," said Kings center Spencer Hawes, who had nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Kings' offensive plan revolved around rotating the ball around the perimeter and waiting for a chance to go inside, where Sacramento -- like just about everyone else in the NBA -- has a major height advantage over Miami.
It didn't take the Heat long to stop that scheme.
With Wade and Mario Chalmers setting the tone up top, the Heat collected steals and deflections on nearly every Sacramento possession over the final six minutes of the half, holding the Kings to 1-for-8 shooting in that stretch and opening a 49-31 lead by intermission.
They weren't done.
"We played like a team. We were relentless on defense," Beasley said. "We had so much intensity, we played with energy, we played together the whole game. That's what felt the best."
Salmons scored inside to open the second half, but the Kings got no closer. Wade took a bullet pass across the lane from Marion for a dunk followed by a shimmy with 7:59 left in the third. Cook hit a 3-pointer with 4:12 left for a 30-point lead, and Wade made a steal and full-court pass to Marion for a dunk to push the margin to 72-38 with 3:02 remaining in the third.
With that, Wade pointed an index finger to the sky, and the home crowd did something it had very little opportunity to do last year when Miami stumbled to a 15-67 mark overall, 9-32 at home -- scream with the Heat, not at them.
"We have to protect our home floor and use a lot of energy, from the fans that are here, use a lot of energy from them as we always do," Wade said. "We've got to continue to build our support back up and it starts tonight by getting a win at home."
|Dwyane Wade notches 20 points to lift the Heat to a dominating win in their home opener. (AP)|
|Miami (1-1) «||22||27||29||25||103|
|SAC:J. Salmons 14 Pts
SAC:S. Hawes 11 Reb
SAC:J. Salmons 3 Ast
|MIA:D. Wade 20 Pts
MIA:S. Marion 10 Reb
MIA:D. Wade 8 Ast
|Players of the Game|
|S. Hawes, C||34||4-11||0-0||11||1||3||9|
|J. Salmons, SF||33||6-13||2-3||4||3||1||14|
|K. Martin, SG||30||2-8||5-5||1||0||3||9|
|B. Udrih, PG||22||1-7||0-0||1||2||1||2|
|M. Moore, PF||18||1-1||2-2||3||0||4||4|
|S. Williams, PF||25||2-4||2-4||10||1||2||6|
|Q. Douby, SG||24||5-11||3-3||3||0||1||14|
|J. Thompson, PF||19||5-10||0-0||7||0||5||10|
|B. Jackson, PG||13||1-4||0-0||1||1||0||2|
|B. Brown, PG||13||2-5||3-3||1||1||1||7|
|D. Greene, SF||10||0-2||0-0||0||1||2||0|
|K. Thomas, PF||Did Not Play|
|F. Garcia, SF||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|M. Chalmers, PG||30||1-4||0-1||2||2||1||3|
|S. Marion, PF||29||4-9||4-6||10||3||2||13|
|D. Wade, SG||27||7-12||6-11||4||8||1||20|
|U. Haslem, PF||27||6-11||2-4||6||0||3||14|
|M. Beasley, PF||27||7-15||3-4||9||0||3||17|
|D. Cook, SG||29||5-11||0-0||6||1||1||13|
|M. Banks, PG||21||2-5||2-2||0||4||2||6|
|S. Livingston, PG||18||1-3||0-0||1||3||2||2|
|M. Blount, C||15||3-5||2-4||1||0||1||10|
|D. Wright, SF||6||1-2||0-0||0||0||1||2|
|J. Anthony, C||6||0-1||0-0||2||0||1||0|
|Y. Diawara, SG||4||1-3||0-0||1||0||0||3|
|J. Magloire, C||Did Not Play|
|J. Jones, SF||Did Not Play|
|C. Quinn, PG||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|