Wade, Heat pound Bobcats
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade scored 27 points and tallied 12
assists, and the Miami Heat crushed the Charlotte Bobcats, 113-93.
The Heat won despite lacking the services of point guard Gary Payton, who had
been starting while Jason Williams has sat with an abdominal strain. Payton
was suspended by the league for one game for verbal abuse and obscenities
directed at officials after being ejected from Miami’s 117-98 win over the
Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday.
Chris Quinn, a rookie reserve out of Notre Dame, made his first-career start
in Payton’s place, scoring a career-high 14 points, grabbing five rebounds,
and doling out five assists.
“He knows how to play the game and he knows how to be a point guard,” said
Heat acting head coach Ron Rothstein of Quinn.
Shaquille O’Neal scored a season-high 22 points for the Heat, who have won a
season-best four straight, and pulled to within two games of .500 at 23-25.
Jason Kapono scored 13 points for Miami, and Udonis Haslem added 12 points and
eight rebounds for the Heat.
“We had no answer for Shaq and we had no answer for Wade, plus, we had the 13
turnovers,” said Bobcats head coach Bernie Bickerstaff.
Raymond Felton scored 20 points and grabbed seven boards for the Bobcats
Emeka Okafor and Gerald Wallace scored 19 points each, with Okafor adding 11
rebounds for Charlotte.
Charlotte posted an 11-4 stretch to start the fourth quarter, pulling to
within 91-81 on an Okafor layup with 7:41 left. That was as close as the
Bobcats would get, though, as the Heat coasted to the finish line.
The Miami lead ballooned to 23 points, at 79-56, after a Haslem turnaround
jumper with just under six minutes left in the third quarter. The Heat held an
87-70 advantage after three quarters.
O’Neal hit the ground running, scoring eight of Miami’s first 14 points, and a
Kapono three boosted the Heat to a 28-14 lead with just over two minutes left
in the first quarter. Miami led 32-21 entering the second quarter.
Wade and O’Neal powered an 11-3 run to open the second quarter. The Heat guard
converted a three-point play, and O’Neal had three baskets, including back-to-
back shots to close the stretch that put Miami ahead 43-24 with 8:46 left in
the first half.
“He played great today,” said Okafor of O’Neal. “He was difficult to guard.”
The Heat led 65-47 at the intermission.
The Heat shot a season-high 62 percent. Miami is now 14-1 on the season when
it shoots 50 percent or higher, and is 14-5 when scoring more than 100
points…Miami set a season-high with 62 points in the paint…Alonzo Mourning
ended a streak of 35 straight games with a blocked shot.