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NBA Heat minus Shaq still beats Magic



Published: Sat, February 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dwayne Wade scored 25 points to lead Miami to the 101-98 win.

MIAMI (AP) -- Dwyane Wade scored 14 of his 25 points in the final quarter, and the Miami Heat overcame the absence of Shaquille O'Neal on Saturday to beat the Orlando Magic 101-98. The Heat avoided their first three-game losing streak of the season.

Wade scored eight straight Miami points down the stretch, first on a pair of tie-breaking jumpers, then with four straight free throws -- the last two giving the Heat a 99-95 lead with 15.8 seconds left.

He capped the win two big defensive plays. He made a crucial block with 10.2 seconds left, erasing Steve Francis' layup attempt that could have drawn the Magic within two. Francis drove down the lane and had a step on Eddie Jones. But Wade came across the lane, took off and swatted Francis' offering into the first row of seats along the right sideline.

With Orlando down by three with 0.4 seconds left, Wade tipped the Magic's inbound pass and kept them from trying a desperation shot at overtime.

Eddie Jones had 15 points, Damon Jones added 14, Rasual Butler 12 and Michael Doleac 10 for Miami, which was without O'Neal for essentially a third straight game because of his sprained left knee.

Hill tops all scorers

Orlando's Grant Hill led all scorers with 28 points, on 12-of-17 shooting. Francis, who had 31 points in Orlando's last matchup with Miami, missed his first six shots from the field and finished with 16.

Francis, however, missed a layup try with 28 seconds left that Wade rebounded. Wade brought the ball upcourt, and was fouled by Francis near midcourt with 15.8 seconds left.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer that brought Orlando within 99-98 with 1.1 seconds left, and Jameer Nelson added 13 points and seven assists for the Magic.

Orlando scored eight straight points and led 75-70 with 11:10 remaining, but the Heat responded with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes, reclaimed an 80-77 lead.

Turkoglu's 3-pointer with 7:24 remaining put the Magic back up 81-80, but Miami's reserves scored the next six points and the Heat wouldn't trail again.

Keyon Dooling's jumper with 6:34 left and highlight-reel dunk 30 seconds later put Miami up 84-81, and although Orlando tied it three times in the final 1:56, Miami hung on.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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