MIAMI (AP) — Dwyane Wade scored 30 points in the tribute-filled final home game of his career, and the Miami Heat defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 122-99 on Tuesday night.
Bam Adebayo scored 19, Justise Winslow scored 16 and Hassan Whiteside added 15 for the Heat, who were eliminated from playoff contention when Detroit beat Memphis — a result that went final during the third quarter of the Miami-Philly game.
Wade’s career will end Wednesday in Brooklyn, when Miami plays its regular-season finale. He checked out for the last time with 1:02 left, embracing teammates and his son Zaire — who was on the Heat bench.
Greg Monroe scored 18 points and Ben Simmons scored 16 for Philadelphia, which entered Tuesday already locked into the No. 3 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs and rested Joel Embiid and J.J. Redick. Simmons played only 21 minutes, Tobias Harris shot 3 for 16 in 20 minutes and Jimmy Butler scored only four points in 16 minutes.
Butler did get one prize — he was the recipient of Wade’s final postgame jersey exchange with an opponent.
Jonathon Simmons scored 14 for the 76ers.
Wade scored the first basket of the game on a dunk, Philadelphia scored the next eight — and it was all Miami the rest of the way. Winslow had three 3-pointers and Wade scored six points in a 22-2 Heat run that put Miami in control early, and the outcome was never in question again.
The final minutes were all Wade. He swished a 3-pointer. He banked in a pair of them. He got slapped on his backside by a fan — in this case, it was permitted, since the fan was his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade. He scored 14 of his points in that final quarter.
It was his night, and only his night.
The game was the sideshow.
The reason every seat was filled was Wade.
There was a pregame ceremony, capping a day of tributes. Former President Barack Obama sent a video that was played during the first quarter. Wade’s oldest sons and his nephew appeared in taped messages as well. John Legend and Chrissy Teigen were courtside, as was Heat legend Chris Bosh and his wife Adrienne.
The ovations were constant, as were the “M-V-P” chants. And one of the loudest roars came with 11:05 left, when Wade and Udonis Haslem — the only two players to play for all three Heat championship teams, and the longest-tenured Heat players ever — checked in together.
76ers: This is the first time Philadelphia has posted consecutive seasons of 50 or more wins since 1984-85 and 1985-86. ... Philadelphia missed 17 of its first 18 tries from 3-point range.
Heat: It took Haslem less than a minute to do one of the things he does best — take a charge. ... Wade played in 575 games in a Heat uniform at home. Miami won 401 of them, and he scored 13,323 points in those contests.
Miami will not be a tax team this year, saving about a $5 million payment because Rodney McGruder was claimed Tuesday by the Los Angeles Clippers — two days after he was waived by the Heat. If Miami had won at Toronto on Sunday, McGruder would likely still be with the Heat. “That was one of the tougher franchise moves our organization has had to make,” said coach Erik Spoelstra, who raves about McGruder.
The 76ers plan to sit Embiid and Redick again Wednesday, and will also give Ben Simmons and Harris the night off. “Some people like to have a rhythm going into it, some people like to have time off. I don’t think you can appoint the perfect formula,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
76ers: Host Chicago on Wednesday.
Heat: Visit Brooklyn on Wednesday.
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