MIAMI, Jan. 1 (Ticker) --
With Dwyane Wade
and the Miami Heat clicking
on all cylinders, the Charlotte Bobcats had little hope of
registering their first road win against the Eastern Conference.
Wade followed his first career triple-double with 26 points and
nine assists as the Miami Heat extended the longest winning
streak in franchise history to 14 games with a 113-90 triumph
over the Bobcats.
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Miami (25-7) improved to 19-2 against conference opponents and
13-3 at home by dominating the third quarter. Charlotte was
within 63-56 following a dunk by Gerald Wallace
with 7:33 to go
in the quarter, but Wade found Eddie Jones
for a 3-pointer that
ignited a 15-2 spurt.
Jones had six points and Wade four in the run, which Udonis
Haslem capped with a dunk with 4:20 to go.
Wade was 11-of-16 from the floor and is averaging 28.25 points
per game over his last four contests.
"What a fantastic basketball player," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff
said of Wade. "He makes his teammates better. ...
There are a lot of guys in this league who can get to the rim,
but he finishes."
"At times it looks like it's too easy for him," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy
Van Gundy's comments may have been in reference to a play with
3:53 to go in the third quarter, when Wade, with his back to the
basket, heaved the ball in the direction of the basket. It
went in, and he was fouled.
"That may have been the luckiest shot I ever hit. ... There are
stretches when you feel it's just you and the rim," Wade said.
"Those are the best nights - when you feel like it's just you
and the basket and no one can really do much about it. I wish I
had more nights like it."
, who scored 16 points but battled foul trouble,
admits to being impressed by Wade.
"He's fun to watch," O'Neal said. "I know I have fun when I'm on
the bench watching."
ran his streak of double-doubles to 19 with 17
points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte (7-20), which is 1-13 on
the road this season, including 0-9 against Eastern Conference
opponents. Okafor's streak is the longest by a rookie since Hall
of Famer Elvin Hayes had 60 in a row during the 1968-69 season.
Miami's winning streak is three games longer than the previous
best in team history. By shooting a season-best 59 percent in
this one, the Heat have out-shot their opponents in 20 straight
games. That is the longest run since the 1980-81 Philadelphia
76ers posted a run of 22 games.
"It's a heck of an accomplishment," Van Gundy said. 'We've won
seven of 14 on the road. Some of those were at tough places.
It's not like the schedule just aligned itself for us to win 14
in a row. ... We've beaten very good teams. It's not going to
happen every night."
"Let's keep this short and painless," Bickerstaff said. "They
are a good basketball team and we are just not in that class.
We just didn't have the persistence to get anything done."
The Heat will go for their 15th straight win Monday when Seattle
(22-6) comes to Miami.
"We've got a good streak going," Miami's Christian Laettner
said. "It can be easy to be complacent, but we didn't do that.
We showed we're a championship caliber team. I don't think we're
peaking now at the end of December, beginning of January.
We'll get better."