Sports Outside the Beltway

It takes a retreat- Miami Heat break 15-game losing streak

Was it just coincidence the Heat win while I was away on a Catholic retreat with 10 other men from the church I attend this weekend?

Winning for the first time since Dec. 22, the Heat snapped its 15-game losing streak Saturday when Dwyane Wade finally ran into an opponent he single-handedly could bring down.

With Wade scoring 35 points, including the final nine of an 11-0 third-quarter streak that helped rally his team from what had been an 11-point deficit, the Heat withstood the Indiana Pacers 98-96 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Hopefully,” Wade said, “we can get going and we can forget all about that has happened.”

There certainly is plenty to forget, including Saturday’s final harrowing minutes, after the Heat nearly blew all of the 94-85 lead it took when Wade converted a 3-pointer with 4:34 to play.

But it took Wade knocking away a Troy Murphy inbounds pass with seconds remaining for the Heat to survive.

“It really felt like we won the championship,” said forward Dorell Wright, who tossed the ball high in the air at the final buzzer.

God works in mysterious ways.

In my youth football and baseball days, I played on more than one pitiful team. When we did win for a change, you’d think we won the league championship. I know what Dorell Wright is saying. At the same time, the unfortunate losers namely the Pacers, feel the ignominy of being the team that ends the streak. Indiana will get over it, but how many more games will it be before the Heat win again?

Miami needs to re-build, and its going to take some time. Shaq is all but done, Wade is brilliant but brittle. There isn’t much in the way of positives for the Heat. I’m sticking to my 2008 prediction, Pat Riley won’t be back as coach for the 2008-09 season. If he doesn’t quit sometime during this season first.

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