Beasts of East continue to roll
Published: Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 20, 2005 at 1:58 a.m.
MIAMI - Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade each scored 25 points, helping the Miami Heat improve the Eastern Conference's best record to 29-11 with an 111-92 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night.
Wade, who missed Miami's previous two games with a back spasms, sore ribs and a migraine, scored 12 of his points in the third quarter to help the Heat pull away. O'Neal added 12 rebounds, and Eddie Jones scored 16 for Miami, which played its first home game in two weeks.
Antoine Walker had his ninth straight double-double - 18 points and a game-high 16 rebounds - for Atlanta, which dropped its seventh straight road game and lost for the 14th time in 17 games overall. Jason Collier added 17 points.
Miami, the NBA's best shooting team, connected on 51.9 percent of its field-goal attempts. O'Neal made 11 of 20 shots and scored 25 or more points for the eighth straight game, extending his team record. Over that stretch, O'Neal is averaging 29.8 points and 12.3 rebounds.
Al Harrington's driving layup with 5:38 left in the third quarter drew Atlanta to 66-63, but Wade - who typically doesn't show much anger on the court - got visibly upset over a non-call on Miami's next possession, and quickly vented his frustration.
He drove straight at Hawks rookie Josh Smith for a layup, then took a long outlet pass from O'Neal after Smith's miss and drove past him for a dunk, sparking what would become a 23-7 Miami run.
Iverson, who leads the NBA in scoring with 28.5 points a game, was held to just six points in the second half. It forced Korver, Williamson and Marc Jackson to carry the Sixers.
Korver made consecutive baskets, including a 3-pointer, to give Philadelphia a 103-98 lead, and Williamson scored eight of his 14 points in the fourth quarter.
Chris Bosh added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Raptors, who have won seven of nine. Bosh set a team record with his ninth straight double-double.
The Raptors made seven 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and outscored the Knicks 38-20 in the period to sent New York to its eighth loss in nine games. Nazr Mohammed had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Knicks, who have lost four straight.
The win was Boston's 10th in its last 12 home games.
After falling behind 66-57, the Celtics retook the lead for good with a 12-2 run midway through the fourth quarter. Jefferson hit three field goals during Boston's decisive run, including a floater as the shot clock expired to put the Celtics up 84-77 with 5:05 left.
The Bulls pulled within 84-80 before Pierce hit a field goal and knocked down four free throws to give Boston an 90-80 lead with 1:10 left.
Rodney Buford added 17 points and rookie Nenad Krstic had 16 points as the Nets snapped a four-game losing streak against the Bucks, who failed to win the 1,600th game in their 36-year franchise history.
Michael Redd scored 22 of his 30 points in the second half, but it wasn't enough on a night when Kidd and Carter nearly recorded triple-doubles. Carter added nine rebounds and nine assists to go along with his 14-for-24 shooting effort, while Kidd had eight rebounds in falling two boards shy of his 62nd career triple-double.
Rodney Rogers had 12 points, the last on a stunning play as he slapped the rebound from Dickau's missed free throw out of Jermaine O'Neal's hands, sending the ball into the hoop with 3.7 seconds left.
The Clippers took a 79-78 lead with 19 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by Bobby Simmons. On the next possession, the Spurs' Manu Ginobili curled around the lane and passed to Parker in the left corner.
He faked a shot to get Simmons off his feet and then drove baseline, bumping bodies with 7-footer Chris Kaman as he banked in a layup high off the backboard with 7.8 seconds left.
Tim Duncan had 12 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, which improved the NBA's best home record to 21-1.
Three reserves led the Grizzlies, who won their fourth in a row and 10th in 11 games. Bonzi Wells scored 16, Stromile Swift had 14 and Brian Cardinal 13 for Memphis, which set a franchise record with its fourth straight road win. Jason Williams was the only Grizzlies starter in double figures with 11 points.
The Suns had season lows in points and field goal shooting (33 percent) for the second game in a row.
With the loss, and San Antonio's victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix (31-9) no longer has the NBA's best record. The Spurs are 32-9 and play Phoenix on Friday night.
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