NBA Game Summary - Orlando at Miami
(Saturday, February 26th)
Final Score: Miami 101, Orlando 98
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade scored 14 of his team-high 25 points in the fourth quarter, including two late free throws that gave Miami the lead for good, as the Heat held on to defeat Orlando, 101-98, at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Wade, who scored just five points in the first half, exploded for 20 points in the second and ended 8-of-13 from the floor for the Heat, who won their eighth straight at home and in the process snapped a two-game slide.
"He (Wade) is just nailing the pull-up jumper," said Miami head coach Stan Van Gundy. "He is playing great. This was a great win for us."
Eddie Jones added 15, Damon Jones netted 14 and Rasual Butler came off the bench to chip in 12 for Miami, which played without center Shaquille O'Neal, who was nursing a sprained left knee.
O'Neal sustained the injury in the first quarter of Tuesday night's overtime loss to Chicago when he landed on Bulls forward Othella Harrington. An MRI on Thursday revealed a mild sprain.
The starting center for the Eastern Conference in last week's All-Star Game, O'Neal also missed Miami's overtime setback to Indiana on Wednesday.
Michael Doleac started at center for Miami and had a solid game, scoring 10 points while grabbing eight rebounds in 25 minutes of action.
Grant Hill paced Orlando with a game-high 28 points. Steve Francis added 16 points and Hedo Turkoglu contributed 14 for the Magic, who have dropped two straight and three of five.
In a tightly-contested fourth quarter, Wade's two free throws gave the Heat the lead for good, 97-95, with 33 seconds remaining. Wade then came up huge on the defensive side, blocking a Francis shot in the lane at the other end, before sinking two more free throws to make it 99-95.
"He has played under control," said Van Gundy. "He was staying on the floor making plays. He had a big block, a big rebound, and only turned the ball over two times."
The Magic made the final seconds interesting when Turkoglu drained a three- pointer to pull Orlando to within 99-98 with one-tenth of a second remaining.
But Butler, who was immediately fouled, hit two free throws for a three-point edge.
Hill's long pass from under the basket was broken up by Wade as time expired.
"It was a good basketball game," said Orlando head coach Johnny Davis. "Unfortunately we did not make our shots down the stretch to win the game. Wade, particularly down the stretch was real good."
Orlando led 22-20 after one quarter of play, but Miami gained the lead in the opening stages of the second. A quick 8-0 run was capped by Butler's jumper, staking the Heat to a 28-22 lead with under 10 minutes left in the frame.
Miami's margin remain at six, 46-40, as both teams headed into the locker room.
The Heat pushed the lead to seven, 58-51, on Doleac's short jump hook in the lane with under eight minutes left in the third, but the Magic came right back.
Orlando would respond with 14-5 burst, turning a seven-point deficit into a slim two-point edge. Dwight Howard's two free throws ended the run and Orlando owned a 65-63 lead. The Magic then carried a 71-70 advantage into the fourth.
Prior to the game, Miami activated forward Christian Laettner from the IL, while placing Steve Smith on the injured list with a lower back strain. Laettner finished with eight points in 20 minutes...Orlando has dropped five in a row on the road and six of its last eight at Miami...The Heat's last home loss was an overtime setback to Indiana back on January 21st...The Magic will host the Heat on Sunday at TD Waterhouse Centre...Jameer Nelson got his first career start for the Magic. He scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had seven assists...Wade scored in double-digits in the fourth quarter for the tenth time this season.
02/26 16:32:33 ET