Wade looking forward to a final meeting with Kobe
MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade will never forget his first meeting against Kobe Bryant.
Wade and the Miami Heat went to Los Angeles and got blown out in November 2003, the Lakers winning 99-77 and making it look every bit as easy as that score seemed. It was the eighth game of Wade's professional career, and to say he was still figuring things out is an understatement.
But in the third quarter, something happened.
''It was so not a meaningful moment in basketball history at all,'' Wade said.
True, but it was obviously one for him to cherish. Finding himself guarding Bryant for one of the first times all night, Wade - who freely acknowledges that he was nervous facing Bryant - got a steal. Nearly 13 years later, he still savors that moment and will carry the thought into Wednesday night, when Miami visits the Lakers and Wade and Bryant could square off as opponents one final time.
''For me, that was it,'' Wade said. ''That was the holy grail. ... Inside, I felt so good. It didn't mean anything to him. They were up about 30 or 40. But to me it meant the world.''
A friendship has blossomed in recent years (even though Wade broke Bryant's nose in the 2012 All-Star Game). Wade even was one of the orchestrators of a tribute dinner for Bryant at this year's All-Star Game, part of the yearlong, league-wide retirement celebration for the Lakers' star whose career is now in its final weeks.
If Bryant and Wade both play, it'll be the 20th head-to-head meeting. Wade - who, like Bryant, has worn only one professional uniform - and the Heat have an 11-8 edge in those matchups. Bryant didn't play when the Lakers visited Miami earlier this season.
Players have taken to asking for Bryant for certain souvenirs like jerseys or sneakers this season. Wade will have a request as well for a memento from their final matchup, though he isn't sure what yet.
''Trying to think of something different,'' Wade said. ''I'm asking for something. It's crazy that it's our last time playing him and we're asking for something.''
If all else fails, he'll still have that memory from 2003.
Golden State is 35-0 at home, and San Antonio is 37-0 at home. No team in NBA history has ever finished a home schedule unbeaten, the closest being Boston's 40-1 mark in the 1985-86 season.
The Warriors have three home games this week: Washington on Tuesday, Boston on Friday and Portland on Sunday.
The Spurs are home twice: New Orleans visits on Wednesday, and Toronto comes in on Saturday.
Also, Golden State goes into the week at 66-7 for the season. The Warriors need to finish 7-2 to break Chicago's single-season record of 72 wins.
The NBA is on pace for more 3-pointers this season than ever, which means the previous record will be topped for the fourth consecutive season.
And this season, 20,000 3's are in play.
There were 17,603 in 2012-13, 19,054 in 2013-14 and 19,300 last season. The league is on pace for about 20,700 this season - which is more than the entire NBA made in the first 10 seasons of the 3-point shot, combined.
WHAT TO WATCH
A game for each day this week to perhaps merit your attention:
Monday, Celtics at Clippers: Could this be Paul Pierce's last time playing against Boston? It seems possible.
Tuesday, Bulls at Pacers: Chicago's postseason hopes are in trouble, and Indiana could hurt the Bulls further.
Wednesday, Warriors at Jazz: Utah nearly knocked Golden State off in Salt Lake City way back in November.
Thursday, Nets at Cavaliers: Brooklyn found a way to beat Cleveland this past week. Cavs won't lack motivation.
Friday, Raptors at Grizzlies: Injury-decimated Memphis has lost six of eight, trying to keep the West No. 5 seed.
Saturday, Heat at Trail Blazers: Miami coach Erik Spoelstra returns to his hometown. Portland still in West chase.
Sunday, Celtics at Lakers: If he plays, it'll be the 44th and final time that Lakers star Kobe Bryant faces Boston.
(And a reminder, no games next Monday because of the NCAA championship game.)
STAT LINE OF THE WEEK
James Harden, Houston: He had 26 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists and eight steals in the Rockets' 89-87 loss to Utah on Wednesday. The last time someone reached all four of those totals in the same game was 1989, when Michael Jordan did it against Boston.