- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 14, 2009

MIAMI (AP) - No surprise here: Dwyane Wade is now, officially, the greatest scorer in Miami Heat history.

Wade passed his good friend and mentor Alonzo Mourning on Saturday to become the leading scorer in franchise history. Wade’s dunk with 11:05 left in the third quarter against the Utah Jazz gave him 21 points for the game, and 9,460 in 380 career regular-season appearances.

Mourning, who played for the final time in December 2007, scored 9,459 points in 593 games with the Heat.

Wade received a standing ovation from the crowd when the record was announced during the next stoppage in play, raising his left arm to acknowledge the cheers.

“He’s been remarkably efficient, I think, as a scorer,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “And he adds to his game every year. The fact that he’s shooting the ball so well from outside has really opened up his game.”

The dunk to pass Mourning also gave Wade his 21st straight game of at least 20 points, topping his own franchise record.

Wade came into the day averaging an NBA-best 29.7 points per game this season, 1.1 points ahead of Cleveland’s LeBron James _ a big reason why Miami, which had the worst record in the league last season, started the day with the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s not something I think about,” Wade said earlier in the week. “It’s about winning right now.”

Wade has made a steady climb atop the Heat franchise-record charts in several categories this year.

Earlier this season, Wade passed Glen Rice for the most steals in Miami history. Wade is second in assists, on pace to pass Tim Hardaway (2,867) for the top spot next season. At his current clip, he’ll go by Grant Long (14,859) for third place in all-time minutes next month. Wade is even fourth in blocked shots, and could top Shaquille O’Neal (384) for third later this year on that list.

And he should smash the Heat single-season total scoring record as well: He holds that record with 2,040 set in the championship year of 2005-06, and entered Saturday with 1,903 already this season.

“The fact that he’s been doing it so efficiently with his field goal percentage _ he’s shooting over 56 percent since All-Star break _ is pretty remarkable,” Spoelstra said.

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