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Late spurt puts Heat in control
By wire services
Published January 2, 2006
MIAMI - Shaquille O'Neal couldn't specifically say why the Heat changed their defensive ways. He wasn't being coy, either.
"If I said what I heard, it'd all be whistles," O'Neal said of coach Pat Riley's halftime remarks. "It'd all be bleeps."
Whatever Riley said certainly worked. The Heat held Minnesota to 23.5 percent shooting over the final two quarters and beat the slumping Timberwolves 97-70 on Sunday night.
Dwyane Wade scored 19, O'Neal had 16 and Alonzo Mourning had 13 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, which allowed a season low in points, set a season high for margin of victory and held the Wolves to their lowest total this year.
James Posey had 11 points and Gary Payton added 10 for the Heat (19-13), who outscored Minnesota 56-26 in the second half and moved a season-high six games over .500.
Wally Szczerbiak scored 19 for Minnesota (14-14), which is 2-8 in its last 10 games but atop the Northwest Division.
Miami outscored Minnesota 25-6 in the opening 7:30 of the third, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 66-50 lead.
The win capped a good day for Riley, who signed a contract extension. Terms were not specified.
CLIPPERS 100, TRAIL BLAZERS 94: Elton Brand had 20 points and 11 rebounds for visiting Los Angeles, which snapped a losing streak at the Rose Garden that dated to 1999. The Clippers led by as many as 16 points in the first half, then withstood a Portland rally that cut the margin to 59-58 early in the second half.
JAZZ 98, LAKERS 94: Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 and Keith McLeod scored four of his 15 in the final 78 seconds as visiting Utah took advantage of Kobe Bryant's suspension for elbowing Memphis' Mike Miller in the throat Wednesday. Brian Cook had 19 points for the Lakers, who lost their fourth straight. Both teams shot an identical 29-for-58 through three quarters, with Utah lead 76-73. Devin Brown's 3-pointer with 5:16 left in the second capped a 12-4 spurt that gave the Jazz a 42-32 lead, their biggest of the game, and Utah never trailed after that.
EX-PLAYER ARRESTED: Former NBA player Charles Shackleford was arrested on drug and weapon charges during a routine traffic stop. Shackleford, 39, who played at N.C. State and with the Nets, 76ers, Timberwolves and Hornets in six seasons, was arrested in Johnston County, N.C., on Saturday. He faces charges of carrying a concealed weapon, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine, police said.