Thursday , May , 12 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Shaq sits out Game 3

Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Miami Heat All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal
did not play in Thursday’s Game 3 Eastern Conference semifinal against the
Washington Wizards due to a bruised right thigh.

O’Neal has been bothered by the injury, which occurred during an April
17th outing against Indiana, for more than three weeks. He missed the
final two games of the regular season but has played in all six of the
Heat’s playoff contests. O’Neal had 16 points and seven rebounds in 37 minutes
during Miami’s Game 2 win on Tuesday.

Veteran Alonzo Mourning started at center in O’Neal’s absence and compiled 14
points and 13 rebounds to help the Heat post a 102-95 victory. Miami now owns
a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, which resumes Saturday
night in Washington.

In his first season with Miami, O’Neal averaged 22.9 points and 10.4 rebounds
with 171 blocked shots.