MIAMI – Dwyane Wade's migraine "nightmare" ended in time for Game 2 of the playoffs.
Wade had 14 points and six rebounds for the Miami Heat as they took a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers with a 94-73 victory on Monday night — one day after he missed practice with a migraine headache.
Wade considered wearing tinted glasses to protect his eyes from bright light, a known migraine trigger, but decided to play the game without any accessories. None were needed, and he logged 34 minutes with no obvious problems.
"I was just excited to wake up this morning without a massive headache," Wade said.
He worked out twice Monday, in between getting some protein into his system for energy after not eating Sunday. By game time, he was good to go.
"Just having him on the court, just having him be a presence ... attracts double-teams," Heat forward LeBron James said. "You have to account for him when he's out there. He definitely helped us."
Wade played through a headache in Game 1 and scored 17 points, the last five coming in the final 94 seconds to help Miami seal the win. He told the team before Saturday's game that he was not feeling great, though he played 35 minutes in Game 1 without any major issues.
On Sunday, he awoke with a migraine. Wade made his first public comments about his latest bout with migraines Monday afternoon on Twitter, thanking people "for the support as I go (through) these migraine nightmares."
"He's had these before and he's not the only one on our team. We've learned a lot more about migraines with him and James Jones having to deal with it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "So he's able to manage it as well as you possibly can."
The 76ers expected Wade to play, and coach Doug Collins even had some comedy ready for the news that the 2006 NBA finals MVP was back at practice.
"I have a set of cymbals that every time he runs by the bench, I'm slashing them," Collins said before the game. "And I went out and bought the brightest flashlight I could find, and every time I get eye contact I'm shooting it at him. ... I think his mental capacity to fight through these things is off the charts."
Migraines have bothered Wade since his childhood, and have flared up at least twice this season.
He missed a Heat game against Toronto on Jan. 22 with the headaches, returning to the lineup five nights later in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks sporting a pair of orange-tinted goggles to protect his eyes from light. Wade made 13 straight shots from the field in one stretch with the glasses, though he said afterward that he found them awkward at times.
The migraines have typically shown up about once every couple years, which makes the issue even more befuddling for Wade, since he's never been able to identify the exact triggers. He missed a game in January 2005 with a migraine and many practices during college at Marquette with the problem, though never had to sit out for a headache before turning pro.
"He's as tough of a guy I've ever seen playing through sprains, bumps, bruises, hip-checks, all of these things," Spoelstra said. "A migraine is a completely different affliction. People who've never had one before, including myself, we can't relate. My father used to get them all the time and it's a scary ailment."