NBA Game Summary - Sacramento at Miami
(Friday, March 16th)
Final Score: Miami 103, Sacramento 97
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Shaquille O'Neal scored 23 points as the streaking Miami Heat downed Sacramento, 103-97, to win their ninth straight game.
Jason Williams added 19 points and five assists for the Heat, who won for the 14th consecutive time at home and drew even with the idle Washington Wizards at the top of the Southeast Division. Eddie Jones also chipped in with 19 points and James Posey finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
"It doesn't really surprise me," Williams said of the streak. "We have got a team full of veterans. I knew we were capable of doing this."
Ron Artest had a game-high 32 points and 11 boards for the Kings, who have dropped seven straight games against Miami. Mike Bibby tallied 21 points on 8- of-15 shooting, while Shareef Abdur-Rahim had 18 points.
The Heat took a 24-17 edge after the opening 12 minutes and extended their lead to 11, 56-45, at intermission.
Miami continued to slowly pull away in the third quarter and took a 84-70 advantage into the final frame.
Antoine Walker's drained a three to make it a 17-point game, 92-75, with 8:50 left.
The Kings did manage to draw within 10, 102-92, when Bibby connected on a jumper with 3:02 remaining.
"We started out with a lot of turnovers," said Bibby. "We trailed by 19 and we couldn't get passed 10."
But, even though Miami went cold at the offensive end, Sacramento couldn't take advantage of it and only managed five points the rest of the way as the Heat held on.
"I have to give the Heat a ton of credit," said Kings coach Eric Musselman. "They did a great job tonight. They really pushed the ball and moved the ball around."
Miami is now 23-10 at home this season and will host Orlando on Sunday... The Kings have lost their last five games...Heat guard Gary Payton aggravated a groin in the second quarter and did not return...Since getting O'Neal, Miami is an amazing 40-1 at home in February and March.
03/16 23:15:48 ET