MIAMI, April 26 (Ticker) --
The New Jersey Nets controlled Shaquille O'Neal
and Dwyane Wade
better than they ever could have imagined
and still were hammered by the Miami Heat.
O'Neal and Wade combined for just 31 points, but former Net
came off the bench to score 21 and grab nine
rebounds in 16 minutes as Miami rolled to a 102-85 triumph over
New Jersey and a 2-0 advantage in their Eastern Conference
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Wade scored 32 points and O'Neal added 17 and 11 rebounds in
Miami's easy 116-98 triumph in Game 1 of the best-of-seven
series on Sunday. In this one, the Nets all but shut down
Miami's two All-Stars, holding them to a total of just 16 points
through three quarters.
With Wade and O'Neal struggling - and Game One star Damon Jones
relatively held in check - Miami figured to be in trouble, but
that was far from the case. The Heat opened the contest with
the game's first seven points and scored the final eight of the
first quarter to seize a 26-16 lead after 12 minutes.
When the Nets got within 32-30 midway through the second
quarter, Mourning had the final four points in a 14-4 burst that
all but sealed the game. Mourning, showing a lot of emotion on
both ends of the floor and against the team he began the season
with, capped that pivotal spurt with a three-point play over
New Jersey center Nenad Krstic
Mourning also had the final eight points in a 19-8 third-quarter
run that opened a 72-52 lead with 2:34 left in the period. He
made 6-of-8 shots and 9-of-12 free throws in the contest before
fouling out in the waning moments.
"My game is not a surprise to me, I feel like I'm a Hall of Fame
player," Mourning said. "Nothing I do now surprises me. I
didn't forget how to play the game. ... The front office has
assembled this team for one reason - to win a championship. We
want to kill the thought of this being a one- or two-man team.
... We know what we're capable of doing. I know what I'm
capable of doing."
"Zo was unbelievable tonight," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy
"He had 21 points and nine rebounds in 16 minutes. That is one
of the most productive lines that you will ever see. He was
The 13-year veteran had just six points in 14 minutes in Game
One and averaged only 7.6 points in 37 games during the regular
season. But with O'Neal enduring one of the worst postseason
games of his career, Mourning took over, posting his highest
point total this season.
"It's good to be on a good team," said O'Neal, who reportedly
had a "secret team meeting" prior to the game to show his
teammates his three championship rings. "Guys are definitely
carrying me now. I'm sore, but I'm not going to use that as an
excuse. The first timeout, Zo grabbed me and said, 'Big fella,
you look kind of slow, you look kind of weak. I've got your
back, I'm going to step it up.'"
"Alonzo did a great job. There must be something in the air
down here or in the water because he does not get tired," Nets
forward Brian Scalabrine said. "He can all of a sudden grab
offensive rebounds and dunk on people."
O'Neal had 14 points and 10 rebounds in 27 minutes, admitting
after the game he felt "slowed." Wade had 17 points and 10
assists for Miami, which has won 21 of its last 22 games at
led New Jersey with 21 points, Richard Jefferson
chipped in 14 and Jason Kidd
10, but the trio combined to shoot
just 15-of-40. The Nets made just 28-of-78 shots overall.
"We did a good job of containing Wade and some of their
perimeter shooters, but they are a balanced team," Jefferson
said. "When you take one thing away, they will get you in
"Obviously, Alonzo was a game-changer," Nets coach Lawrence Frank
said. "Alonzo was really dominant in the paint. We
probably gave him too many layups in and around the paint."
The series shifts to New Jersey for Game 3 on Thursday.
"We just did what we're supposed to do, which is win at home,"
O'Neal said. "We're a pretty good road team. ... We can't mess
around with this team. We've got to do what we have to do."
"They did their job, they've won two games on their home court,"
Nets forward Jason Collins
said. "Now it's our turn to go back
and do the same."