Heat escape Bobcats as Wade banks one home with 2.9 left
Dwyane Wade hit a bank shot over Gerald Henderson with 2.9 seconds left and the visiting Miami Heat beat the pesky Charlotte Bobcats 96-95 Wednesday to remain unbeaten.
After Henderson hit a three-pointer from the right wing to put the Bobcats up by one with 12 seconds left, the Heat called time and had Wade bring up the ball. He drove to the left side and banked the shot over Henderson, then turned to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton seated courtside and imitated Newton's Superman touchdown celebration by pretending to rip open his shirt.
LeBron James scored 35 points and Chris Bosh chipped in with 25 as the Heat overcame a sluggish first half in front of 19,614, the largest crowd ever to see a Bobcats game at Time Warner Cable Arena.
James and Bosh combined to score 35 points in the second half. They had plenty of help from the Bobcats, who turned the ball over 12 times on 25 third-quarter possessions.
D.J. Augustin's three-point attempt off a side inbounds play didn't fall for Charlotte and D.J. White's putback at the buzzer rolled off the rim as time expired.
■ Danny Granger scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the Indiana Pacers beat the Raptors 90-85, spoiling Toronto's home opener.
Paul George had 18 points, David West scored 14 and Roy Hibbert had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Darren Collison became the fifth Pacers starter to reach double figures by hitting two free throws with 2.5 seconds left. He finished with 10 points and 12 assists.
DeMar DeRozan scored 22 points and Andrea Bargnani had 21 for Toronto.
Bengals get rare sellout for Ravens
The Bengals' pleading and promotions finally got them a full stadium. Cincinnati announced on Wednesday it had sold out its final regular-season game against the Baltimore Ravens, only the second time the Bengals have filled Paul Brown Stadium this season. The other time was when Pittsburgh brought thousands of fans.
Getting a full stadium was a priority for the Bengals (9-6), who secured only their third winning record in 21 years by beating Arizona last week. A win over the Ravens (11-4) on Sunday would secure the final AFC wild card berth.
Only 41,273 showed up for the 23-16 win over Arizona on Saturday, a typical crowd this season. The Bengals announced after the game a buy-one, get-one-free promotion to season ticket holders for the final game. Players practically begged fans to come.
After two days of offering cut-rate tickets, they sold out the 65,500-seat stadium for only the second time in the last 12 games.
"When everyone in 'The Jungle' gets up, standing and cheering, it's as loud as it gets," defensive lineman Domata Peko said. "Hopefully the house is rocking this weekend and we'll put on a show."
■ Linebacker Jason Taylor says he'll retire after this season, his 15th in the NFL and his 13th with the Miami Dolphins.
Taylor leads all active players with 139½ sacks, which ranks sixth all-time. He has six fumble returns for touchdowns, an NFL record. Sunday's game against the New York Jets will be his 204th game with the Dolphins, which ranks second to Dan Marino's 242.
■ Dan Orlovsky could be playing this week on short rest. The Colts quarterback missed Wednesday's practice after his wife, Tiffany, had triplets.
Coach Jim Caldwell said Orlovsky was absent for "personal reasons." But Curtis Painter, who took the first-team snaps Wednesday, said Orlovsky's wife had delivered three boys. He is the second Indy quarterback to welcome multiple children this year. Peyton Manning and his wife, Ashley, have 8-month-old twins.
SPORTS IN THE COURTS
Executives sue over 76ers finder's fee
Two sports executives have sued former 76ers owner Comcast-Spectacor seeking a $2 million finder's fee over the team's October sale. Robert Whitsitt and Thomas Shine say they introduced investor Jason Levien to Comcast-Spectacor chairman Edward Snider. They say they were promised $2 million if they found a buyer. Levien is a former Sacramento Kings executive and Whitsitt is the former president of the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers.
A-Rod OK after procedure in Germany
The New York Yankees say third baseman Alex Rodriguez is "100 percent" after having special treatment on his right knee and left shoulder in Germany earlier this month. The 36-year-old had plasma-rich platelet injections following advice from Lakers star Kobe Bryant. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Major League Baseball and WADA have approved the procedure.
Rodriguez had surgery on his right knee last July and saw his power drop in the second half and postseason. He played in 99 games and hit 16 home runs. He has 629 career homers.
■ The Oakland Athletics have traded All-Star closer Andrew Bailey and outfielder Ryan Sweeney to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Josh Reddick and prospects Miles Head and Raul Alcantara.
Big Ten, Pac-12 seal scheduling deal
In a time of instability and uncertainty on the college sports landscape, the Pacific-12 and the Big Ten announced an innovative scheduling agreement Wednesday that links the two conferences and shows they have no imminent plans for change.
Starting in 2017, each team from the Pac-12 and the Big Ten will play a team from the other conference in football each season, and the conferences will also begin to play each other extensively in other sports starting as soon as next season.
The Big Ten commissioner, Jim Delany, said the essential idea was to create some of the benefits of conference expansion — greater reach, increased brand recognition and more quality games — without actually expanding. Delany called Larry Scott, the Pac-12 commissioner, about the idea in the summer, and the plan crystallized through meetings between athletic directors and university presidents.
The last word
With two of the most prolific offenses in the country, Stanford and Oklahoma State give the Fiesta Bowl much-needed buzz after the bowl nearly lost its BCS status because of financial improprieties. Said Fiesta executive director Robert Shelton:
"Let's face it, Americans like to score points — that's why we don't embrace soccer. ... I think that's why this is the game to watch this year."