Miami 100, San Antonio 85

MIAMI, Feb. 11 (AP) -- Once Dwyane Wade got rolling, things seemed almost easy for the Miami Heat.

Wade - virtually silent offensively for the first three quarters - had 18 of his 26 points in the final period and the Heat held San Antonio without a field goal for more than 7 minutes down the stretch on the way to beating the Spurs 100-85 on Sunday.

He was 3-for-9 from the field entering the fourth, then hit 7-of-10 shots in the final 12 minutes, falling two points short of outscoring the Spurs by himself in the stanza.

"It was a great game until Dwyane Wade decided to take over,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "And then it was over.''

Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points in 25 minutes; he didn't play in the final 15:44, partly because he's still coming back from knee surgery, partly because the smaller lineup the Heat used did well enough to not necessitate his return. Jason Kapono added his first career double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The win was Miami's fifth in its last six games and pulled the Heat within one game of the .500 mark again; Miami (25-26) can get there Tuesday when it hosts Portland in its last game before the All-Star break.

"We're just trying to continue to get better,'' Wade said. "If anyone knows basketball, they understand that we're not going anywhere, that we've been having a lot of injuries. But we're getting it back. That's our whole focus, to keep going this way.''

Manu Ginobili had 26 points off the bench for the Spurs, who fell to 2-4 on their eight-game road trip. Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio, while Tim Duncan finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Brent Barry scored 11.

"We're still not playing physically enough, tough enough,'' Popovich said. "We're playing soft for too many minutes in the game. Just hoping and begging.''

The Spurs were within one point twice in the final quarter, but missed eight straight shots over a stretch of 7:12 - and Miami capitalized, outscoring San Antonio 20-8 during that drought to open a big lead and eventually prevail in a matchup of the last two NBA champions.

"We're just not able to get over that hump when we need to,'' Duncan said. "The consistency is not there, offensively and defensively.''

Wade single-handedly kept the Spurs off the scoreboard twice midway through the fourth quarter, with a pair of highlight-reel blocks against Parker near the basket. Both came within a 9-second span and represented Parker's only attempts in the fourth, during which San Antonio shot 5-for-17.

"Great defense. It surprised me a little bit,'' Parker said.

Fueled by an early 18-0 edge in bench scoring, the Spurs led 31-25 with 7:13 left in the first half before Miami's reserves began contributing. Eddie Jones had eight points, three assists and a steal in a 17-1 run over a 3-minute stretch - all with Wade on the bench - that put Miami up 42-32 with 3:54 left.

Jones finished with 12 points on 4-for-4 shooting.

"Eddie was huge,'' Heat interim coach Ron Rothstein said. "Capital H, capital U, capital G, capital E. He was terrific.''

But the Spurs' bench - namely Ginobili - answered after that Heat run.

Ginobili scored the game's next seven points, part of 10 he had in a 2+-minute span, to kickstart San Antonio's 14-3 run to end the half. Wade's first basket put Miami up by one with 18.3 seconds before halftime, but Parker's layup with 2.7 seconds remaining gave the Spurs a 46-45 lead at the break.

It stayed tight in the third, with seven lead changes and neither team holding more than a five-point lead. Miami got only one field goal in the final 6+ minutes of the quarter and Wade was 2-for-6 with 4 points in the period, but Miami still managed to take a 69-65 lead into the fourth quarter.

And when Wade hit his first three shots of the final quarter, matching his total from the first three, the Heat steadily began pulling away.

"We were good,'' Rothstein said. "We played with a lot of determination and effort and hustle. If you're going to beat a good team, that's what you have to do.''

Notes: Heat guard Jason Williams missed his seventh straight game with a torn abdominal muscle. He won't play Tuesday, either. ... Duncan was 5-for-11 from the foul line. ... Kapono had a career high in rebounds by the midway point of the third quarter. His previous best was eight. ... Parker's fiancee, "Desperate Housewives'' actress Eva Longoria, was at the game.


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