Wednesday , Jan , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Heat start long road trip in Oklahoma City

(Sports Network) – The Miami Heat begin a season-long seven-game road trip
when they visit the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets tonight at the Ford

Miami enters tonight’s contest on a two-game winning streak. On Sunday, Dwyane
Wade scored 19 points, pulled down six rebounds and dished out nine assists o
lead the Heat to a 97-70 rout of the Minnesota Timberwolves at
AmericanAirlines Arena.

Wade spearheaded a key third-quarter run that gave the Heat the lead for good,
and Miami used tough defense to hold Minnesota to only 26 second-half points.
Shaquille O’Neal added 16 points and seven rebounds, while Alonzo Mourning had
13 points and 10 boards for the Heat, who have won four of their last five
games overall.

The Heat, who have won four of their last six on the road, are 7-9 as the
visitor this season. Miami will also visit Phoenix, Portland, Golden State,
Seattle, Utah and the Lakers on the current swing.

New Orleans/Oklahoma City plays the third of a four-game homestand. It is 1-1
on the stand. On Monday, rookie phenom Chris Paul finished with 24 points and
11 assists to pace the Hornets to a 103-86 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats
at the Ford Center.

David West added 20 points and nine rebounds in the win over Charlotte for the
Hornets, who won for just the second time in their last six games. P.J. Brown
and Speedy Claxton each finished with 16 points, while Desmond Mason
contributed 15 points and nine boards in victory.

The Hornets are 8-6 as the host this season. They will host the Portland Trail
Blazers on Friday in the finale of the current stand.

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the clubs. On
November 15th, Wade scored 25 points and keyed a late Miami run as the Heat
needed overtime to defeat the Hornets, 109-102, at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami has won four straight and six of the last seven meetings in this series.