Shaq picks up slack in Heat’s win over Cavs
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal picked up the slack in Dwyane
Wade’s absence, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to lead Miami
past Cleveland, 86-81, at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Jason Kapono also posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 boards while
Alonzo Mourning poured in 15 points off the bench for the Heat, who snapped a
Wade is sidelined indefinitely after dislocating his left shoulder in
Wednesday’s loss to Houston after getting tangled with Shane Battier of the
Rockets early in the fourth quarter. The star guard is still weighing his
medical options, with season-ending surgery a possibility.
LeBron James finished with 29 points and seven assists and Larry Hughes scored
14 for Cleveland, which has lost two in a row.
The Heat opened up the fourth quarter on a 12-3 run to break a tie and
establish a 71-62 lead.
Kapono had four points in the surge, which Mourning capped with a hook shot.
Cleveland responded with five straight points to trim its deficit to four
after a Donyell Marshall three-pointer, but Kapono answered with a jumper to
halt the mini-run.
O’Neal then followed with back-to-back buckets — a hook shot and a slam —
before Kapono drained a three-ball to push the advantage to 80-72 with 3:35 on
The Cavs got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Miami held a 41-38 edge at halftime, but Cleveland fought back to tie it at
59-59 after three quarters of play.
The Heat have won four of their last six meetings with the Cavaliers and nine
in a row at home…Miami is 17-24 in games played without Wade since his
rookie season, including 2-7 this year… Cleveland center Zydrunas Ilgauskas
returned to the Cavaliers’ starting lineup after missing four games for
personal reasons. He finished with eight points and nine rebounds before