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Wade secures win vs. Magic
By wire services
Published February 27, 2005
MIAMI - Ordinarily, Shaquille O'Neal would be around the basket and helping Miami guard precarious leads in the closing seconds of tight games.
He wasn't there Saturday, still nursing a sprained knee - but Dwyane Wade filled his role nicely.
Wade scored 14 of his 25 in the final quarter, plus swatted away a layup try by Steve Francis with 10.2 seconds left, to secure the Heat's 101-98 win over the Magic.
"I don't get animated too much. When I do, there's a cause behind it," said Wade, who displayed plenty of emotion down the stretch.
Wade scored eight straight in the final minutes, the first four coming on a pair of tiebreaking jumpers, the last four from the free-throw line, including a pair to give the Heat a 99-95 lead with 15.8 seconds left.
He capped the win with two big defensive plays, including the block that erased Francis' layup attempt. Francis drove down the lane and got the shot off, but Wade soared and sent the ball bounding into the first row of sideline seats.
Orlando's Grant Hill led all scorers with 28.
76ERS 101, KINGS 99: Chris Webber failed to convert a last-second layup after grabbing an offensive rebound off an intentionally missed free throw, spoiling his debut for host Philadelphia. Webber had 16 points, 11 rebounds and three steals against the team that traded him less than 72 hours earlier. The 76ers' Allen Iverson had a season-high 14 assists to go with his 27 points. Mike Bibby scored 19 to lead six Sacramento players in double figures.
KNICKS 90, PACERS 79: Stephon Marbury scored 21 to lead host New York. Jamal Crawford added 17, and Kurt Thomas had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Knicks, who got consecutive wins for the first time since Herb Williams took over as coach following Lenny Wilkens' resignation in late January. Jermaine O'Neal led the Pacers with 24 points and nine rebounds.
BULLS 94, BOBCATS 90: Ben Gordon sank a 3-pointer that sealed Chicago's win over host Charlotte and his college roommate, Emeka Okafor. Okafor and Gordon were teammates on Connecticut's national title team last year, the second and third picks in the draft and are Rookie of the Year contenders. Okafor had 26 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bobcats, and Gordon scored 11.
SUNS 124, MAVERICKS 123: Joe Johnson hit a 16-foot jumper with 4.7 seconds left, then Shawn Marion blocked Dirk Nowitzki from behind on a driving layup for visiting Phoenix. Johnson's jumper over newly acquired Keith Van Horn capped a 7-0 run during the final 1:46. Nowitzki appeared headed for the winner when Marion flew in behind him and swatted at the ball as the 7-footer held it over his head. The ball went into the rim and Marion grabbed it, securing the victory and ending Dallas' six-game winning streak, its longest of the season.
GRIZZLIES 84, SPURS 82: Earl Watson hit a 14-foot fadeaway jumper with 17 seconds left and Shane Battier made a steal on the final play for Memphis. San Antonio lost for the second time in 26 home games this season, while the Grizzlies snapped a four-game losing streak. On the Spurs' last-chance play, Brent Barry inbounded to Manu Ginobili. He squared-up on Battier and started to make a move, but Battier reached in, slapped the ball away and grabbed it as time ran out.