"I knew it was a matter of time before I would get going," Wade said. "I just kept playing. Fortunately it turned out good for me."
The same can't be said for James, who is fighting through pain in his sprained right toe. He finished with 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds, but he missed three free throws in a span of 17.2 seconds late in the game, including one that would have tied it with 44.8 seconds left. Overall, he was 3-for-8 from the foul line.
James had his toe in ice after the game and took the blame for the loss. He was disappointed in his inability to convert from the line.
"I had a lot of opportunities down the stretch to make a lot of plays," James said. "I got fouled and I missed free throws. Me being a leader, if I'm going to be down there at the end of the game, I have to come through for my team."
Cleveland coach Mike Brown felt his team, which blew a 12-point lead with 9:12 to play in the game, was done in by the officials. He said Wade shooting 24 free throws was ridiculous.
"I have no idea how we can guard the guy," Brown said. "He is a special player. He is aggressive, assertive and confident. He has those killer instincts, and when he smells blood, he is coming. I am not taking anything away from him, but I don’t know what we can do."
The Heat have won two in a row and received a good effort from Shaquille O'Neal, who returned after missing two games with a calf injury. O'Neal finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in 28 minutes before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
But the night belonged to Wade. He stood up to the best shot James could dish out and walked away with the win.