Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 1/2

Game 1: Friday, January 2nd
Game 2: Wednesday, February 11th
Game 3: Tuesday, March 9th
Game 4: Wednesday, March 24th

Heat 111

(22-32, 8-22 away)

Magic 98

(13-41, 6-19 home)

    7:00 PM ET, February 11, 2004

    Amway Arena, Orlando, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 27 37 23 24111
    ORL 20 27 25 2698

    Top Performers

    Miami: D. Wade 27 Pts, 10 Reb, 5 Ast

    Orlando: J. Howard 22 Pts, 2 Reb, 6 Ast, 1 Stl

    Five Miami players score in double figs

    ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Miami Heat wanted to head into the All-Star break in position for a playoff run. The Orlando Magic just wanted to get off the basketball court.

    Dwyane Wade scored 27 points, Rafer Alston added a season-high 23 and the Heat snapped a five-game losing streak with a 111-98 win over Orlando on Wednesday night.

    Lamar Odom had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists for Miami. Brian Grant added 16 points, and Rasual Butler tied his season high with 12.

    Miami enters the break 1{ games out of the eighth playoff spot, with 12 of its next 15 games at home. Yet there are pitfalls in that schedule.

    "Nine of those 15 are against teams in playoff positions. If you look, we're something like 8-23 against those teams," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "So yes, they're home games, but they're against good teams primarily, and we're going to have to raise our level of play."

    Miami fell a point short of its season best -- set against the Magic last month -- by shooting 53.9 percent and tying a season high with 41 field goals.

    "We were moving the ball and getting good shots," Wade said. "The key was to move the ball and make them play defense for at least 18, 19 seconds of the shot clock."

    The Heat also outrebounded Orlando 46-24, with their starters holding a 42-13 advantage. Grant grabbed 12 rebounds and Wade a season-high 10.

    But those achievements came against an Orlando squad that, during its seventh straight defeat, took comfort in the promise of nearly a week off.

    "Guys are ready to go on vacation," said Tracy McGrady, whose 24 points led Orlando. The All-Star starter proved as much, leaving immediately after the game for Los Angeles.

    In one of the few defensive efforts shown by the Magic all night, coach Johnny Davis declared his players haven't given up.

    "I just think the losing kind of drains you after a while," Davis said. "Of course, losing also takes away your confidence somewhat, and I think that's what's taking place a little bit."

    Miami seized a 25-point lead late in the second quarter and was up by 15 with less than six minutes to play, only to let the Magic chip away. Orlando cut the deficit to 103-96 on McGrady's free throw with 2:01 remaining.

    Alston's 3-pointer with 1:04 left sparked an 8-2 run to end the game and the losing streak.

    "I think everyone will look forward to getting back," Grant said. "It's a roller-coaster ride, this last 28 games. Whoever takes care of business gets in (the playoffs). We have more than a chance to get in."

    For most of the first half, the Magic looked very much like a collection of weary players looking forward to a few days away from basketball.

    Orlando held Miami to 2-for-10 shooting while building an 11-7 lead, only to watch the NBA's worst-shooting squad start hitting from everywhere.

    The Heat sank 22 of their next 28 shots -- going 7-of-8 from behind the arc -- to go ahead 60-35 with 3:11 left in the first half. Not bad for a group that entered shooting less than 42 percent.

    "Everything came easy offensively," Van Gundy said.

    Even for Orlando -- last in the league in defense -- this was bad.

    The worst moment came when the Magic, trailing by 20, came out of a timeout their fans ushered them into with a chorus of boos. Gordan Giricek blocked Wade's layup try, but the Magic simply stood around, so Wade grabbed the rebound and converted a 9-foot fadeaway.

    "The story, again, is we did not make a concerted effort to stop people," Davis said. "Far too many transition baskets, and couple that with second-shot opportunities."

    Miami's momentum slowed at the end of the quarter, but the Heat still held a 17-point lead at halftime.

    By then, four Miami players were in double figures: Alston and Wade had 14 points each, while Butler and Grant had 12 apiece.

    "In the second half, we came out with a lot of energy," McGrady said. "But we dug ourselves too big a hole to win the game."

    Game notes

    Miami forward Caron Butler, his back bruised Tuesday by a flagrant foul from the Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Rush, didn't make the trip. ... Orlando center Andrew DeClercq was put on the injured list while he recovers from right knee surgery. He's expected to miss up to two weeks, but the team did not immediately make a move to fill his roster spot. ... Rookie Zaza Pachulia made his first start in DeClercq's absence, but was held to one point and three rebounds in 19 minutes. ... Odom got a technical for swatting the ball into the stands after a fourth-quarter foul.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 111 98
    FGM-FGA 41-76 (.539) 37-77 (.481)
    3PM-3PA 8-14 (.571) 4-12 (.333)
    FTM-FTA 21-26 (.808) 20-25 (.800)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 15-46 8-24
    Assists 25 21
    Turnovers 16 11
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 3 3
    Fast Break Points 5 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 17 (1/0)

    Top Performers

    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 27
    Reb: 10
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Juwan Howard Howard
    Points: 22
    Reb: 2
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0