MIAMI, Feb. 26 (Ticker) --
With Shaquille O'Neal
relegated to street
clothes with a sprained knee, Dwyane Wade
emerged as the Miami
Heat's one-man show.
Wade scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter as the
Heat won the opener of a home-and-home series with the Orlando
Magic, 101-98, to extend their home winning streak to eight
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Despite picking up his fifth foul with 7:10 remaining, Wade
excelled down the stretch, scoring eight of Miami's final 10
points. He buried two free throws to give the Heat a 97-95 lead
with 34 seconds left and grabbed a rebound following a miss by
Orlando's Steve Francis
moments later, leading to two more
successful free throws.
"I love the pressure," Wade said. "If the ball comes to me, I
want to be able to make things happen. I focus a lot more and
want the opportunity to make a difference in a close game like
It marked the 10th time this season that Wade scored in double
figures in the fourth quarter. In the two games since O'Neal's
injury, Wade has averaged 31.5 points.
In a role more suitable to the 7-1 O'Neal, Wade blocked a shot
by Francis with 11 seconds left, helping Miami maintain its
"I was surprised that Dwyane was able to come over and block
that shot," Francis said. "It was a good defensive play."
Miami coach Stan Van Gundy
said Wade's overall effort was all
the more significant considering his foul situation.
"For him to be able to get into the flow, even though he was on
the bench at a key point in that fourth quarter, was terrific,"
Van Gundy said. "He made plays for us at both ends of the
Orlando coach Johnny Davis
admitted that the Magic had no answer
for Wade's crunch-time performance.
"We tried a number of things to keep him under control, but he
still hit jump shots on us," Davis said. "It was a game where
he certainly asserted himself down the stretch."
's 3-pointer brought Orlando within 99-98 with 1.1
seconds to go, but Rasual Butler
hit two free throws moments
later to yield Miami's final margin.
Miami trailed, 81-80, with just over six minutes remaining and
Wade on the bench when Keyon Dooling
scored the next two
baskets, including an electrifying dunk.
"You have to attack the rim and go strong," said Dooling, who
scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter. "It was
important to me because it came at a crucial time in the game
and sparked us to victory."
Dooling's performance drew high marks from Van Gundy.
"One of the things that was different for Keyon tonight was that
when Dwyane went out in the fourth quarter, we ran the same
sets with Keyon out there and he made the plays," Van Gundy
said. "He gave us a huge lift."
scored 15 points and Damon Jones
added 14 and five
assists for the Heat, who improved to 12-0 against Southeast
Division opponents. Miami has gone 28-6 against teams from the
Eastern Conference en route to a 41-16 mark overall.
All-Star Grant Hill
scored 28 points -- 14 in each half -- for the
Magic, who scored the first six points but trailed 46-40 at
halftime. Orlando led by as many as eight points early but lost
for the sixth time in its last nine games.
The Magic have dropped both meetings with the Heat this season
after splitting two preseason matchups. Without O'Neal, Miami
posted a 95-89 preseason win on Oct. 15, but lost 109-103 less than two weeks later despite 24 points in 33 minutes from
the All-Star center.
"We played them in the preseason without Shaq," Hill said.
"They're a different team but still a very good team."
Francis, who did not record his first field goal until there was
5:37 left in the third quarter, scored 12 of his 16 points in
the second half. Despite entering with a 21.6 scoring average,
Francis has managed just 28 points over his last three games
The Magic, who have lost 21 of 31 road meetings with the Heat,
will host Miami on Sunday.