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Miller ably fills gaps for Magic

©Associated Press
November 25, 2002

ORLANDO -- Mike Miller knew the short-handed Magic needed something special from him against the Heat.

He responded with the best game of his career.

The Magic was without injured stars Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill, but Miller had 31 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, and his 22-foot jumper with one second left gave the Magic a 77-75 win Sunday night.

"Someone needed to step up," said Miller, who shot 13-for-24 and fell one point short of his career high. "You've got Grant and Tracy out, which is tough on our team. I tried to do as much as I could."

With 3.2 seconds left and Jacque Vaughn inbounding on the sideline, Miller broke across the court up high before cutting back for the pass. By then, screens by Pat Garrity and Shawn Kemp had put Miami's Eddie Jones and Caron Butler on the floor. Miller was open on the right wing.

"Exactly the way it was drawn up," coach Doc Rivers said. "It's always nice when they work; a lot of times they don't work. And he has to make the shot for it to work, too."

Orlando got a season-high 14 points from Kemp, who made five straight in the closing minutes to send the Heat to a third straight loss.

Miami missed a chance to win when Eddie House's buzzer-beating heave fell short. House tied it with 10.1 seconds left on a short jumper after his offensive rebound.

Butler had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Miami, and Jones added 16 points -- only two in the final 19 minutes.

The Heat had seven turnovers and shot 5-for-16 in the fourth.

"This is what we are," coach Pat Riley said. "We're in a one-point game, and our guys are getting open shots that aren't going in. What can you do about it?"

Hill sat out a second straight game and third in five because of his sore left ankle. He is expected to play against the Lakers on Wednesday. McGrady had back spasms while sleeping on a couch during the team's flight home late Friday night.

LAKERS 111, BUCKS 99: Shaquille O'Neal had 24 points and 11 rebounds in his second game of the season, and Kobe Bryant had a triple double for host Los Angeles. Bryant had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his third triple double of the season. Michael Redd led Milwaukee with 19 points. Ray Allen, the league's seventh-leading scorer (23.6), sprained his right ankle in the second quarter and did not return.

TIMBERWOLVES 106, KNICKS 88: Kevin Garnett had 25 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists for visiting Minnesota. Joe Smith added 17 and Gary Trent 14. Allan Houston scored 32 for New York, but the Knicks trailed by double digits for most of the second half in losing for the 10th time in 12 games.

SONICS 91, SPURS 90: Brent Barry's 3-pointer with 4.7 seconds left rallied visiting Seattle, which had trailed from the second quarter. Gary Paytons's 26 led the SuperSonics, who snapped a three-game skid. Tim Duncan scored 22 for San Antonio.

CLIPPERS 90, ROCKETS 89: Eric Piatkowski put up a running 14-footer with 1.4 seconds left and Houston's Yao Ming was called for goaltending to give host Los Angeles the win. Houston's Steve Francis, who scored 31, missed an off-balance 12-footer at the buzzer. Elton Brand had 26 points and 15 rebounds for the Clippers, winning for just the second time in their past seven.

76ERS 94, RAPTORS 84: Allen Iverson scored 37 and Keith Van Horn had 19 points and nine rebounds for visiting Philadelphia. Alvin Williams scored a team-high 25 for the Raptors, who have lost five straight. Toronto is 3-7 without forward Vince Carter (strained quadriceps tendon), who could return Wednesday.

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