Tuesday , Dec , 14 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal scored 40 points, grabbed 12
rebounds and blocked five shots to lead the Miami Heat to a 106-83 win over
the Washington Wizards at AmericanAirlines Arena. O’Neal, who sparked a 26-9
fourth-quarter run, hit the 40-point mark for the first time as a member of
the Heat and the 48th time in his career. His strong play helped the Heat
overcome the loss of guard Dwyane Wade, as the club captured their season-high
fifth straight win. Wade left the game in the third quarter with a mild
sprained left ankle and did not return. Gilbert Arenas had 18 points and
Antawn Jamison tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards, who had a
two-game win streak halted.

Final Score: Cleveland 92, Memphis 86

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – LeBron James scored 31 points with seven
assists and a career-best seven steals to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a
92-86 win over the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. Jeff McInnis added 18
points — 14 in the second half, including a crucial three-pointer with just
over a minute left — to go with seven assists. Drew Gooden contributed 11
points, eight rebounds and seven helpers to help the Cavaliers snap a brief
two-game skid. Pau Gasol scored 19 points to pace the Grizzlies, who lost for
the first time in five tries versus Cleveland. Lorenzen Wright collected 16
points and 10 boards in the setback, Memphis’ eighth in 12 games.

Final Score: Dallas 94, Chicago 93

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Michael Finley scored a season-high 27 points
and hit a game-winning jumper with 3.2 seconds left as Dallas downed Chicago
94-93 at the United Center. NBA scoring leader Dirk Nowitzki finished with 21
points and nine rebounds but struggled from the field for the Mavericks,
who recorded their 13th consecutive triumph over the Bulls. Josh Howard
compiled 16 points and 10 rebounds in Dallas’ fourth straight win on the road
and second in a row overall. Eddy Curry hit on 9-of-11 field-goal attempts
in a 20-point performance for the Bulls, who were attempting to win back-to-
back games for the first time this season. Rookies Luol Deng and Ben Gordon
chipped in 16 and 14 points, respectively, while Tyson Chandler had 12 points
and 11 rebounds in the loss.

Final Score: Phoenix 121, Orlando 100

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Quentin Richardson hit six of Phoenix’s 13
three-pointers on his way to a 26-point effort, as the Suns ran away from the
Orlando Magic, 121-100, at America West Arena. Amare Stoudemire added 21
points and nine rebounds for the Suns, who have won five straight and 14 of 15
to set the franchise record for the best start to a season. Phoenix is now
18-3, surpassing the 1980-81 club’s previous mark of 17-3. Grant Hill led the
Magic with 23 points. Steve Francis went for 18 points and had six assists for
Orlando, which has dropped two in a row and fell to 2-3 on its current six-
game road trip.

Final Score: Boston 134, LA Clippers 127 (2-OT)

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Gary Payton scored on a driving layup with
35 seconds remaining in double overtime to break a tie after Boston rallied
from a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to post a thrilling 134-127 victory
over the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center. Ricky Davis poured in 19
of his season-best 34 points in the fourth quarter to key the Celtics
comeback. Paul Pierce delivered 33 points in just 27 minutes due to foul
troubles for Boston, which ended a five-game road trip with back-to-back wins.
Corey Maggette had a career-high 38 points for the Clippers, who fell for the
second straight time and have dropped three of their last four. Elton Brand
racked up 24 points and 18 rebounds, while Bobby Simmons came through with 22
points in defeat.