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Wade, Heat win seventh straight
Published March 2, 2006
BOSTON - Dwyane Wade had 24 points and eight assists, Antoine Walker scored all of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, and the Miami Heat extended its winning streak to seven with a 103-96 victory over the Celtics on Wednesday night.
Shaquille O'Neal added 16 points and nine rebounds for the Heat, who outscored the Celtics 56-32 in the paint.
Wade shot 7-of-15 from the field and was 10-of-16 from the line. He also had five rebounds.
The Heat has won 12 of 14 and is 26-10 since Pat Riley took over for Stan Van Gundy as coach Dec. 12.
Paul Pierce, who set a Celtics record by averaging 33.5 points per game in February, scored 38. Delonte West had 20 and Wally Szczerbiak added 12.
Walker, making his first appearance in Boston since been being traded from the Celtics to the Heat in the offseason, was 0-of-4 from the floor through three quarters. But he was 5-of-7 in the fourth as the Celtics' two-game winning streak ended.
"Any time you come back and beat your old team, it has meaning," Walker said. "In the fourth quarter, I just told myself to be aggressive."
"You've got to pick your poison with them," Pierce said. "We're doubling Shaq and paying so much attention to Wade, we leave Antoine open."
The Heat led by 11 early in the fourth quarter, but West and Ryan Gomes sparked a Boston rally.
After Shandon Anderson's free throw gave the Heat an 80-70 lead with 9:47 remaining, West hit consecutive 3-pointers to pull Boston to within 80-76.
A Walker 3-pointer extended Miami's lead to 85-78, but Raef LaFrentz and West made back-to-back 3-pointers and Gomes hit a 21-foot jumper to make it 86-85 and give Boston its first lead since early in the third quarter.
After the teams traded baskets, Walker gave Miami the lead for good when his layup made it 90-88 with 4:44 left.
Walker's third 3-pointer of the fourth pushed Miami's lead to 100-94 with 55 seconds left.
Anderson scored a season-high 15 points and Jason Williams added 13 points and nine assists for Miami.
After scoring 28 first-quarter points, Boston totaled 40 in the second and third quarters combined. O'Neal had three blocked shots and Alonzo Mourning had two for Miami.
Boston's Al Jefferson, who returned after missing nine games with a sprained right ankle, had seven points and five rebounds.