Heat End Slide, Beat Bobcats
Posted Nov 26 2006 1:52AM
Miami 102, Charlotte 93
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 25 (AP) -- Injuries have allowed Dwyane Wade to show another facet of his game: He's a great passer.
Wade scored 35 points, 13 in the fourth quarter, and added 12 assists Saturday night as the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 102-93.
"Now he can be a distributor and a facilitator,'' said Heat coach Pat Riley, who won his 400th game with Miami. "The ball can come back to him on the second option. I think he's beginning to understand that.''
Alonzo Mourning, back in the city where he began his NBA career, added 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting as Miami, coming in as the lowest-scoring team in the NBA, shot a season-high 55 percent to snap a three-game losing streak.
"I made a point to the team prior to the game that about every week we get a win,'' Riley said. "So we got a win this week.''
Adam Morrison matched a career high with 27 points for the Bobcats, who lost their second straight and fell to 1-8 all-time against Miami.
Wade's 18-foot jumper put the Heat up 76-66 early in the fourth quarter. He followed his own miss and banked in a shot in the lane with 6:33 left, then on the next possession got up in the air and fed Antoine Walker for layup to give Miami an 88-77 lead.
"I've been really trying to get my teammates confidence and hitting them in their sweet spots,'' Wade said.
Wade, who a night earlier had a career-high 15 assists, made 10 of 14 shots and 15 of 22 free throws in his sixth game of 30 or more points this season.
The number of free throw attempts drew the ire of Charlotte's Gerald Wallace.
"It's hard to guard anybody if you aren't allowed to touch him,'' Wallace said. "We're not allowed to touch the league's superstars.''
Walker, coming off the bench for the second straight game, had 16 points for Miami and shot 8-of-15. He had shot 4-for-19 in the previous three games.
Mourning, selected by the Hornets with No. 2 overall pick in the 1992 draft, spent three seasons in Charlotte and hit the winning shot at the buzzer against Boston in 1993 to give the Hornets their first playoff series win in franchise history.
Starting in place of the injured Shaquille O'Neal, the 36-year-old's dunk started a 5-0 run to close the first half and give the Heat at 51-43 lead.
The Bobcats rallied to tie the game on Wallace's alley-oop dunk midway through the third quarter. But Mourning scored on a goaltending call on the next possession and Miami built the lead to six entering the fourth.
Mourning also held Emeka Okafor to nine points and 11 rebounds on 4-of-11 shooting in 30 foul-plagued minutes.
"It's kind of difficult to fill Shaq's shoes,'' Mourning said. "(Michael Doleac) and I have done a pretty good job of just clogging up the middle. We'll just try to tag team and hold that position down until he comes back.''
Morrison shot 9-for-20 and matched his career-high scoring total set in a win over San Antonio, but 10 points came after the game was decided.
"I know I can play in this league. I know I can succeed in this league if I do it the right way,'' Morrison said. "Once the shots start falling, I'll feel a lot more comfortable offensively. But I know I belong out there.''
Williams was held to nine points and three assists on 2-of-11 shooting for the Heat after missing the previous two games with a sore knee. Payton did not score in seven minutes, but Wade picked up the slack.
"When you get down to the bottom line, there was no answer for Dwyane Wade,'' Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "They put the ball in his hands and he will get or shot or he will get to the free throw line. We flat out didn't have answer for him.''
Notes: Riley said O'Neal is coming along as well as could be expected after undergoing left knee surgery a week ago. "He's still sore. He's limping around, but he's getting therapy every day,'' Riley said. ``I would imagine in another couple of weeks he'll start feeling better.'' O'Neal is expected to be sidelined for another month. ... Heat F James Posey worked out for about an hour Saturday morning, but missed his fifth straight game with a calf injury. ... Two weeks after losing to Wladimir Klitschko for the IBF heavyweight title, Charlotte native Calvin Brock watched from the second row.
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