Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 3)

Series starts 11/18

Game 1: Friday, November 18th
76ers96Final
Heat106
Game 2: Friday, December 16th
Heat112Final
76ers105
Game 3: Friday, April 14th
76ers85Final
Heat104

Heat 112

(14-10, 6-7 away)

76ers 105

(12-12, 9-5 home)

Coverage: CSN

8:00 PM ET, December 16, 2005

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 30 33 26 23112
PHI 21 30 23 31105

Top Performers

Miami: D. Wade 32 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Philadelphia: A. Iverson 35 Pts, 4 Reb, 4 Ast, 4 Stl

Riley moves to 3-0 as Heat top Sixers behind Shaq, Flash

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal, Dwyane Wade and Pat Riley are getting along perfectly.

Wade scored 32 points, O'Neal had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Riley stayed unbeaten as Miami Heat coach with a 112-105 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

"If I had some players, I'd be better than that," Riley said, laughing. "Give me some players and we'll win by 20."

While Riley was joking, the rest of the league is quickly finding the results of this new terrific trio to be no laughing matter. Since Riley took over the Heat on Monday when Stan Van Gundy resigned, Miami has won three straight games on the road.

With James Posey and Gerald Fitch making meaningful contributions off the bench, and Antoine Walker sinking big 3s down the stretch, the Heat held off a late Sixers' rally to win their fourth straight game.

O'Neal credits Riley, who won four NBA championships during the 1980s with the Los Angeles Lakers, for bringing an instant winning attitude to the Heat.

"Guys have responded very well, and I think, because of his resume, guys will listen and will do what he says," O'Neal said. "I have a pretty good feeling."

NBA leading scorer Allen Iverson led the Sixers with 35 points, but left the game briefly in the first half with a sprained thumb.

Iverson appeared to hurt the thumb when he was fouled on a driving layup at the end of the first quarter. After Iverson was fouled by Jason Kapono, he grabbed his hand and paced around the court before finally going to the line. He missed the free throw.

Iverson did leave briefly to have X-rays, which showed no break. Iverson, averaging 34 points, returned in the second quarter. Kyle Korver also suffered a sprained right thumb.

Chris Webber scored 23 for the Sixers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.

If Iverson's thumb bothered him, he sure didn't show it in the fourth, when the Sixers came charging back from a 20-point third-quarter hole.

Like he seemingly always does when the Sixers really need a rally, Iverson hit a gutsy shot in the paint where he was kneed in the belly by Wade, then used a sweet fallaway to start a three-point play that pulled the Sixers to 93-83.

Iverson then poked the ball away from Gary Payton, who yelled trash talk as he tried to keep up with the speedy former MVP. Iverson's easy layup made it 93-85.

When Korver drilled a 3-pointer from the left baseline, the Sixers showed as much life as they did all game. Payton was whistled for a foul after Iverson cut around him on a drive, sank two free throws and the lead dwindled to 95-90.

Then Walker hit a 3 from the left side that pushed the lead back to eight, Wade broke loose for two dunks and Walker hit one more 3 in the final minutes that staved off another Sixers' comeback and pushed the lead back to double digits.

Walker finished with 16 points, giving the Heat a boost before ending their four-game road trip Saturday at Cleveland.

"I'm going to get 3s, so I've got to make them," Walker said. "Everybody knows we're for real and we're coming. It's a good stretch and hopefully we'll be able to take care of business tomorrow."

Iverson was only 7-for-16 from the free throw line.

"I know mentally it was bothering me, but I don't know how physically," Iverson said of his sore thumb. "They knock Shaq about his free throws and I'm the one that should be getting knocked for free throws."

After O'Neal missed most of the season with a sprained ankle, the Heat are 4-0 since his return to the lineup.

"Our record's is not what's it supposed to be, but we're not worried about that right now," O'Neal said. "We've just got to become one of those top echelon teams."

Posey made all three of his 3-pointers in the first half, Fitch scored eight points and the Heat found nearly every hole and open look while shooting 63 percent and racing to a 17-point lead.

"They made a really good run at us, but it's all about holding them off," Riley said.

Game Notes
Riley downplayed the difference he'll make on the Heat, saying Van Gundy's success gave him a tough act to follow. "I think Stan has done an incredible job, the first year he coached, and the last year with almost 60 wins and the Eastern Conference finals," he said. "That's going to be hard to beat, but I'll do the best I can." ... After winning the battle of the boards in each of their last four wins, the Sixers were outrebounded 49-35. "If we're going to be big, we have to play big," Riley said.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MIA
PHI
Points 112 105
FGM-FGA 41-78 (.526) 40-88 (.455)
3PM-3PA 9-20 (.450) 3-12 (.250)
FTM-FTA 21-29 (.724) 22-34 (.647)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 9-49 12-35
Assists 26 20
Turnovers 14 8
Steals 4 12
Blocks 6 6
Fast Break Points 12 15
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 28 (1/0) 22 (0/0)
Largest Lead 20 0

Top Performers

Miami
Philadelphia
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 32
Reb: 6
Ast: 3
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Allen Iverson Iverson
Points: 35
Reb: 4
Ast: 4
Stl: 4
Blk: 0