Wade, Shaq Not Enough As Hornets Rout Heat
New Orleans/Oklahoma City 107, Miami 92
OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan. 4 (Ticker) -- The Miami Heat's long road trip did not get off to a good start.
Despite a triple-double from Dwyane Wade, the Heat dropped the opener of a seven-game trek with a 107-92 loss to the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets, who had six players score in double figures.
Wade had 19 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists but also committed eight turnovers for the Heat, who have had their share of trouble with the Hornets this season.
"The triple-double is nice and all," said Wade, who recorded his first triple-double of the season and second of his career. "But I wish I could have done more to help my team win."
On November 15 in Miami, they had to rally from a seven-point deficit with less than two minutes remaining in regulation before winning, 109-102, in overtime.
"We have grown since then," Hornets forward David West said. "We are a better basketball team. We play with confidence now."
Desmond Mason scored 24 points and West added 20 for the Hornets, who shot nearly 50 percent (38-of-77) from the field and set a season high in points.
"The key tonight was us getting up and down the floor and making those guys run," Mason said. "Coach has been trying to get me the ball early in games and get me in a rhythm and Chris (Rookie Chris Paul) and Speedy (Speedy Claxton) did a great job of finding me in transition."
Mason did most of his damage in the first quarter, contributing 14 points to help forge a 32-32 tie after 12 minutes. The Hornets broke open the game in the second period, opening with a 14-0 run.
Kirk Snyder ignited the spurt with a 3-pointer and capped it with another shot from the arc to make it 46-32 with 8:27 left.
"That's a credit to what coach wants us to do," said Snyder, who scored 13 points. "We played good defense inside with the zone and we outran them."
Claxton, who hit a jumper during the run, added five of his 12 points before the half, pushing the edge to 64-45.
The Hornets cruised thereafter, although the Heat did draw within 83-72 on Shaquille O'Neal's layup with 10:37 to go.
West and Rasual Butler scored six points apiece the rest of the way to preserve the lead and lift the Hornets to their fourth win in five home games.
Butler, who spent the previous three seasons in Miami, credited the sellout crowd of 19,326 for the Hornets' inspired play.
"When we are at home and the crowd is going, we run just a little bit faster, jump a little bit higher," Butler said. "This crowd was so electrifying, it gives you goose bumps at times and as a young team, we feed off that."
O'Neal had 19 points and nine rebounds for Miami, which fell to 7-10 on the road and does not return home until January 20, when it hosts San Antonio.
"We're supposed to be one of the top teams in the league," Riley said. "We've assembled some of the top talent in the league. This team needs to understand that when we come to another team's arena, that it is a big event. We came in here and the Hornets took it from us."