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Thursday, November 25, 2010
Heat are bad against good teams

By ESPN Stats & Info

With their loss to the Orlando Magic, the Miami Heat drop to 8-7 overall and have lost three straight games for the first time this season.

More troublesome for the Heat is the fact that they are a measly 1-6 against teams that are currently above .500. Miami is scoring more than 12 fewer points per game and shooting over 8 percent less this season against teams that now have winning records. Miami's only win against such a team was last month at home against Orlando.

LeBron James led the Heat with 25 points for his 11th straight 20-point game. He also played at least 40 minutes for the seventh time this season, which is a bad omen for Miami, which is 0-7 in those games.

Dwyane Wade needs to find his shooting touch. He was just 6-of-21 from the field in this game, including 1-of-4 on 3s. Wade is 7-of-34 (20.6 percent) from the field in his past two games and an atrocious 1-of-19 (5.3 percent) on 3s in his past six contests.

Orlando won this game by finishing well in the first and fourth quarters. The Magic ended the opening quarter on a 12-2 tear to take an eight-point lead after 12 minutes. Orlando also finished the game on a 17-7 run, turning a one-point deficit into a relatively comfortable nine-point win.

Part of the reason for the Magic's late push was that Orlando held Miami without a single offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. The Heat entered the game last in the NBA in offensive rebounding at 21.9 percent but grabbed an impressive 38.2 percent of the available offensive boards in the first three quarters.

Elsewhere in the NBA...

• With a 99-95 win in Charlotte, the New York Knicks have now won five straight for the first time since a six-game win streak in January 2006. New York has also won four straight road games, its longest road win streak since a five-game run during the 2000-01 season.

• Shaquille O'Neal had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to an 89-83 win over the New Jersey Nets. O'Neal sets a season high for points and ties his season high for rebounds. At age 38, he is the oldest Celtic to have a 25-10 game since 40-year-old Robert Parish in 1994.

• Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and he is now averaging 33.8 PPG against the Thunder since their relocation. LeBron James (31.5) is the only other player averaging more than 30 points per game since then versus Oklahoma City.

• Although the Minnesota Timberwolves fell to the San Antonio Spurs in overtime, Kevin Love had 32 points and 22 rebounds, just five games after posting the NBA's first 30-30 game since 1982. Love is the third player in the past 25 seasons with multiple 30-point, 20-rebound games in his team's first 16 contests, joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.