Friday , Mar , 16 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

The Heat is on: Miami tops New Jersey to win eighth straight

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Udonis Haslem scored 21 points and
grabbed 12 rebounds, and the surging Miami Heat won their eighth straight
game, 93-86, over the New Jersey Nets.

Shaquille O’Neal finished with 19 points and seven boards for the Heat, who
pulled within one-half game of the Washington Wizards in the Southeast
Division. Jason Williams scored 13 points and tallied 12 assists for Miami.
The Heat have managed to go 10-8 this season without Dwyane Wade, who
continues to recover from a separated shoulder.

Richard Jefferson scored 20 points for the Nets, who have lost six of eight.
Vince Carter scored 12 points, and Jason Kidd finished with 14 assists, 10
boards, and nine points for the Nets.

New Jersey fell into a tie with Orlando for the eighth spot in the Eastern
Conference.

“It was just a wire to wire game,” said Heat head coach Pat Riley. “I thought
Shaquille felt a lot more comfortable. We’re a different team with him out
there.”

Miami held an 86-75 lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Nets ran off nine
straight to make things interesting. A Jefferson three closed the run, pulling
the Nets to within 86-84 with 1:26 remaining.

O’Neal answered with a baby hook on the next possession, though, and after
Kidd airballed a three on the Nets’ ensuing trip, Haslem hit two free throws
to put the Heat up 90-84 with 48 seconds left. James Posey made three free
throws down the stretch to ice the win for Miami.

“We had some good looks, especially coming down the stretch,” said Kidd. “We’d
probably like to have a lot of those shots back.”

A Jefferson layup at the 10 minute mark of the third quarter posted New Jersey
to a 51-47 lead. Two Haslem layups sparked a 15-2 run, capped by an O’Neal
dunk to put the Heat up 62-53 with 3:26 left in the quarter. Miami led 68-60
entering the final 12 minutes of play.

The Heat opened with a 10-1 run, and the Nets didn’t make a field goal until
Carter sank a jumper at the 8:40 mark to make it 10-3. Kidd followed that shot
with back-to-back threes, though, and New Jersey only trailed 10-9. Miami led
23-19 after the first quarter.

The teams traded shots in the second quarter, and a Bostjan Nachbar trey sent
the Nets into the break holding a 45-43 advantage.

Game Notes

The Heat took the season series 3-1…Miami has won 9 of 13…The Heat
improved to 27-2 when leading after three quarters…New Jersey fell to 8-28
when scoring under 100.

NJN MIA