The nostalgia began the moment Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis visited a favorite restaurant from his old neighborhood. On Friday, he had dinner at Ruth's Chris steakhouse in Winter Park, the area he lived when he played for the Orlando Magic from 2007-11. A few fans recognized him, saying the missed him. So it was only fitting Lewis was awarded the opportunity to relive those days on the basketball court. In a rare start, Lewis scored a season-high 18 points in the Heat's 110-94 victory against the Magic Saturday at Amway Center. It was just the second start of the season, an opportunity created by an injury to Shane Battier. Battier missed the game with a sore quadriceps. "It was almost like perfect timing," Lewis said. "You don't want to wish nothing bad on your teammates, to get hurt, but coach called my name and I went out and played well. I'm very happy with it." Lewis had a hunch he would start once he spoke with Battier on the team flight. Battier's message was simple: "be ready." And Lewis was. He started by scoring 10 first-quarter points on the way to nearly his most productive night in a Heat uniform. He twice last season had 19-point games. "It was big for us," guard Dwyane Wade said of Lewis' play. "That's what we needed. With (Battier) being out, coach could have went many different directions and he gave Rashard the nod. He came in and played great. He was very aggressive … He makes shots, that's what he's always done." Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 20 points to lead the Heat. Wade was 8 of 15 from field and also had six rebounds and four assists. Bosh continued his string of efficiency, making all nine of his attempts. He now has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 11 of the last 12 games. Still, it was more about Lewis excelling in a situation most players couldn't handle. His playing time has fluctuated from none to limited to being a last-minute starter.
Rashard Lewis scores season-high 18 in Heat's 110-94 win at Magic
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Jan 5