Wade, Heat Breeze Past Magic in Miami
Miami 107, Orlando 93
MIAMI, Feb. 14 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal continue to be a nearly unbeatable combination for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
Wade scored 38 points and O'Neal added 20 of his 25 in the first half as the Miami Heat coasted to a 107-93 triumph over the slumping Orlando Magic, who have dropped five straight games.
"When you have a big win on national television, especially a win that you need, you don't want a letdown," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "The offensive efficiency of Dwyane and Shaquille carried over from Sunday's game."
Wade picked up where he left off Tuesday, connecting on 13-of-20 from the field and 12-of-14 free throws. He had just two turnovers and finished three points shy of his season high.
"When (Wade's) knocking down jump shots, he's an awfully tough guy to guard," Orlando coach Brian Hill said. "His biggest strength is probably driving the ball to the basket. It makes it even more difficult to defend when he's making shots (from the perimeter) like that."
When Riley took Wade out for the game in the fourth quarter he left to cheers of 'MVP' from the AmericanAirlines Arena crowd.
"That was the first time I've heard that, so it was good," said Wade, who added five rebounds.
The Magic trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter before closing within 41-38 on a pair of free throws by Mario Kasun with just under seven minutes remaining in the half. Antoine Walker's layup in the final seconds helped Miami take a 61-52 edge at intermission.
The Heat pushed their advantage to 84-74 in the third and Wade and Alonzo Mourning combined to score the first five points of the final period, making it 89-74 with 8:56 left. Orlando got no closer than 10 thereafter.
"We're not really looking at teams' records," Wade said. "We just want to come in and get better and we can't relax. This is the NBA."
Walker scored 12 points and Jason Williams and Udonis Haslem added 10 apiece for Miami, which shot 58 percent (36-of-62) and scored 48 points in the paint.
Steve Francis and Keyon Dooling scored 15 points each for the Magic, who shot 40 percent (33-of-81) and forced 19 turnovers.
"I guess it was one of those games," said Dooling, who played in Miami last season. "We didn't contain Dwyane or Shaq."
Forward Grant Hill scored 12 points in his second game back after missing 13 contests due to sports hernia.
Both teams meet again in Orlando on Wednesday in the final contest before All-Star Weekend.
"We want to go out and win on a good note and have three good days at the All-Star (break) and then come back with 31 or 32 games left," said O'Neal, who pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked four shots. "We just want to do great in the second half of the season."