Heat Cruise to Season Sweep of Bobcats
Miami 114, Charlotte 93
MIAMI, March 24 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal produced big early so they could rest late.
Wade scored 18 of his 24 points in the first half and O'Neal tallied 16 of his 22 before the break as the Miami Heat completed a four-game sweep of the Charlotte Bobcats with an easy 114-93 victory.
"When we come to Miami, we need to just mail it in," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "We don't even need to stop. We couldn't keep anybody in front of us."
Miami took control in the second quarter behind the energy of reserves Michael Doleac and Antoine Walker, both of whom scored 14 points.
"He (Doleac) gives us a different look," Miami coach Pat Riley said. "He knows he's going to get the minutes now and I'm very pleased that we have him."
Doleac, who will see more action due to Alonzo Mourning being sidelined with a torn calf muscle for two to four weeks, made back-to-back jumpers during a 14-4 surge. A jumper by Walker capped the run for a 47-32 advantage.
"I was happy to get my rhythm and get a feel for the game again," Doleac said. "You just try to stay ready, physically and mentally, and when you get the opportunity you try to make the most of it."
Following a dunk by Walker for a 49-36 lead, Wade and fellow All-Star O'Neal were responsible for the Heat's next 15 points to build a 64-48 edge at intermission.
O'Neal was not surprised that Doleac was right in the mix of the Heat's surge to a double-digit advantage.
"He's the consumate professional. He's always ready," O'Neal said of his new backup in Mourning's absence. "He won't block shots like Zo but he will take charges and set screens."
"Pick and pop. Pick and pop. He sets screens and takes the open shots," Wade said. "He brings a different dimension to this ballclub than Zo (Mourning) and teams need to adjust to that."
In the third quarter, the Heat pushed their lead to as many as 24 points and were never threatened.
"We came out and took care of business," O'Neal said. "We were very disappointed with what happened (in Detroit) and wanted to start another winning streak."
Wade made 9-of-13 shots and handed out eight assists. O'Neal netted 8-of-12 and grabbed nine rebounds. Both All-Stars sat out the entire fourth quarter for Miami, which shot 58 percent (45-of-78).
Bobcats rookie Raymond Felton scored 23 points, including four 3-pointers and backcourt mate Brevin Knight added 17 and six assists.
"We didn't play hard enough or well enough to win this game," Knight said. "We had some breakdowns which allowed them to get a lot of dunks and layups."
Gerald Wallace contributed 11 points before leaving the contest with a bruise on his mouth suffered in the third period.
"There were no answers tonight," Jake Voskuhl said. "Sometimes you have that night when one team is rolling and it doesn't really matter what you do."