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Dwyane Wade starts Saturday night after 9-game absence

Dwyane Wade's 9-game absence ended Saturday. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images) Dwyane Wade's 9-game absence ended Saturday. (Joe Murphy/Getty Images)

Miami's Dwyane Wade returned Saturday night, after missing nine games with a hamstring injury. Wade has missed a third of the season with injuries, including Friday night's showdown with the Indiana Pacers.

In his return, Wade played for 23 minutes and netted 24 points, second only to LeBron James' 27 points, although the Heat ultimately fell 98-85 to the Atlanta Hawks.

He said before the game that he would see how far he can push himself. As of Saturday, the Heat were back atop the Eastern Conference, thanks to a 98-86 win over the Pacers.

2014 NBA playoffs: Current projected matchups

Wade has been effective in the games he's played this year, averaging 19.2 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per game, despite missing 28 games this season.

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