Man on Fire

Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade has been playing like a man possessed. D-Wade is averaging 29.5 points per game — tops in the NBA — and is among the league leaders in steals, with 2.3 per game. While the Heat has been floundering to stay within three or four above .500 for the season, Wade is single-handedly keeping the team within striking distance of Southeast division-leading Orlando.

This Friday night, in a showdown between early MVP frontrunners, Wade and the Heat host Kobe Bryant and the red-hot Western Conference Champions Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Arena. Bryant is averaging 24.7 per game, a few points below Wade’s, but he has what D-Wade is lacking — a championship-caliber supporting cast in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol. The Heat’s smaller players will have their hands full against one of the best defensive teams in the NBA. Still, this figures to be an electrifying showdown between two megastars in D-Wade and Bryant. On any given night, Wade can easily drop 30 or 40 points on an opponent, and he already has seven games where he has scored at least 35 points — the most in the league. If all goes according to script, this will be just another night at the office for Dwyane Wade. Tip-off is at 8. Tickets range from $10 to $350 and can be purchased at www.nba.com/heat.
Fri., Dec. 19, 8 p.m., 2008

 
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