O’Neal sets milestone as Miami downs Atlanta
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal had 22 points and 11 rebounds,
and moved into 12th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, as the Heat
continued their domination of the Hawks with a 106-89 triumph.
James Posey added 19 points for Miami, which moved into a virtual tie with
Washington atop the Southeast Division, pending the Wizards’ outcome Monday
night at Utah.
Jason Williams tallied 14 points and Eddie Jones had 13 points and nine boards
for the Heat, who went 4-0 against Atlanta this season and beat the Hawks for
the 14th time in the last 15 meetings. Miami has won 11 in a row at home over
Salim Stoudamire scored 22 points, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc, for the
Hawks, losers of four in a row overall and eight straight on the road. Josh
Smith ended with 20 points and Marvin Williams scored 14 in a losing cause.
O’Neal has 25,291 points, moving past Reggie Miller (25,279) for 12th most
all-time. O’Neal attained the milestone with a free throw in the first half.
A three-point play by O’Neal expanded Miami’s early lead to 15-4 and the Heat
held a 28-22 advantage after 12 minutes.
Smith’s layup tied the score at 40 midway through the second, but Jones
responded with a three-pointer. The Hawks were within 53-52 before Posey ended
the half by making four foul shots.
Posey started the third quarter by nailing a shot beyond the arc and O’Neal’s
three-point play moved the Heat to a 64-53 cushion. Miami continued its strong
inside play and led 82-69 going into the fourth.
Atlanta never got its deficit under double digits in the final 12 minutes.
O’Neal’s jam moved the margin to 97-77 midway through the fourth.
Atlanta’s last road win was Feb. 14 against the Clippers…Miami has won 16 of
its last 18 home games. Since the 2004-05 season, the Heat have a combined
record of 41-3 at home during the months of February and March…Miami’s Gary
Payton had six points, bringing his career total to 21,792, moving past Larry
Bird (21,291) into 21st place on the all-time scoring list…O’Neal went
12-of-20 from the foul line…Zaza Pachulia didn’t play for the Hawks due to