<
>

Jones, Odom, Wade score 20 or more

3/25/2004

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- The Miami Heat want to make the playoffs,
while the Orlando Magic want the season to end. The result
Wednesday showed as much.

Miami won its season-best sixth straight game by running out to
a big lead and cruising to a 105-90 win over the Magic on Wednesday
night.

Eddie Jones scored 17 of his 28 points in the third quarter, and
Lamar Odom had 20 points and 14 rebounds for his 33rd
double-double. Dwyane Wade added 24 points and seven assists.

For much of the game, Miami put on an offensive clinic. Rebound,
outlet, pass to the open man, layup -- or slam dunk, if the player
was in the mood.

"We knew that if we could defend and rebound, then we could
run," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I was upset with the
times we didn't defend because it took away our chances."

Miami shot 49 percent, with 54 points in the paint and 31 on
fast breaks. The Heat also made 20 of 21 free throws.

Over the second and third quarters, the Heat put the game out of
reach by scoring 60 points while shooting 54 percent (22-for-41).
Keying the breakout was a defense that held Orlando to 40-percent
shooting after the first quarter.

"Offensively, we've always had guys who could score," said
Jones, who started 1-for-7 from the floor before finishing with a
10-for-15 burst. "But now we're putting it down on the defensive
end and making it hard for other teams to score."

Miami's lead reached 23 points late in the third quarter,
although Orlando cut the deficit to 12 in garbage time.

"We played the first eight minutes of the fourth quarter as
though we had this game already won, and I wasn't happy with
that," Van Gundy said. "I don't think we're a team that can let
up, and we did for a while there. Other than that, it was great."

The Heat, in sweeping their intrastate rival for the first time,
topped 100 points in all four games. Against the rest of the
league, Miami has only 13 100-point games, and two were in
overtime.

The Magic, losers of six straight and six of eight at home,
played like a team with nothing to play for. Defenders were slow
down the floor repeatedly, prompting boos late in the first quarter
when Wade drove for a fast-break layup. That was among 11 layups or
dunks Orlando gave up en route to an 11-point halftime deficit.

"Guys were just driving the lane, getting shots. We need to
find a way to stop that," said Tracy McGrady, back from a two-game
absence after the death of a great-grandmother. "It's frustrating
to work hard for your shot, and then have them turn around and get
easy baskets."

Added coach Johnny Davis: "(Miami) was playing at a different
level than we were. That's indicative of a team that's going
somewhere and trying to do some things versus a team trying to hold
on and make things respectable."

Leading Orlando was reserve Drew Gooden's 23 points and seven
rebounds.

McGrady scored 18 points in his return. In McGrady's last two
games, he has scored 36 points following a three-game stretch in
which he had 139 -- including an NBA season-high 62.

Juwan Howard scored 11 points; he and McGrady combined to shoot
11-for-30.

Game notes
Miami's Rafer Alston extended his franchise-record stretch
of games with a 3-pointer to 37. Tim Hardaway had two 33-game
streaks. Alston's run tops the NBA this season. ... Miami is 17-13
when Jones is the team's leading scorer, 16-23 when he isn't. ...
Brian Grant was hit with a technical foul for arguing in the fourth
quarter.