Quick start sparks Heat


Published: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 24, 2005 at 1:44 a.m.
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Miami guard Dwyane Wade shoots during the first quarter Sunday in Miami.

The Associated Press
MIAMI - Dwyane Wade had 18 points and seven assists, and the Miami Heat built a 25-point first-quarter lead on the way to an easy 97-68 victory over the New Orleans Hornets on Sunday night.
Damon Jones had 13 points and five assists, and Shaquille O'Neal added 12 points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat (30-12), who won for the third time in seven games and improved to 9-9 against teams from the West.
The 29-point final margin was a season-best for the Heat, who beat Chicago 105-81 on Dec. 3. It also was the best defensive showing of the season for Miami, which held New Jersey to 77 points to open the year.
Dan Dickau had 16 points for the Hornets, whose NBA-worst record fell to 7-33.
Miami's 56-25 halftime lead matched the franchise's largest after two quarters - plus marked the lowest scoring first-half in Hornets' franchise history; Charlotte had 27 at halftime in Minnesota on Nov. 9, 1990.
New Orleans hit its first two shots, taking a 5-2 lead before the onslaught began.
Miami, which made its first seven shots, scored 14 straight points to open what became a 29-4 run over a 9-minute stretch, eliminating any intrigue from the first matchup between the teams since the Heat beat the Hornets in Game 7 of last year's Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
After one quarter, it was 37-13. With 2:15 left in the half, it was 53-19 - which, at that point, was the Heat's largest lead of the season.
  • MAVERICKS 95, NUGGETS 93: Dirk Nowitzki scored nine of his 35 points in the final 5 minutes - including a three-point play with 17.9 seconds - to lift the Dallas Mavericks past the Denver Nuggets 95-93 on Sunday.
    After Kenyon Martin gave the Nuggets the lead with 27.5 seconds left, Nowitzki drove to the basket, hitting the tying layup and getting the foul call.
  • BUCKS 101, KNICKS 96: Desmond Mason scored 22 points to lead six Milwaukee players in double figures, and the Bucks spoiled the debut of New York coach Herb Williams.
    It was the 10th loss in 11 games for New York, and came one day after Lenny Wilkens stepped down as coach.
  • RAPTORS 103, BOBCATS 92: Jalen Rose scored 14 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to help hand Charlotte its eight straight loss.
    Rose had 12 points during Toronto's pivotal 19-4 run in the final period, when the Raptors outscored the Bobcats 26-12.
    Morris Peterson added 26 points and Chris Bosh had 21 for the Raptors, who have won five straight at home.
    Primoz Brezec had 19 points and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds for the Bobcats.
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