Shaq moves to 17th all-time in scoring

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal's birthday party started a little early.

O'Neal and many Miami Heat teammates were headed to South Beach for a bash Friday night, after getting double-digit scoring from all five starters and beating the slumping Sacramento Kings 104-83.

Dwyane Wade had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

O'Neal scored 18 points, giving him 23,177 for his career and tying

him with Adrian Dantley for 17th in NBA history. And Eddie Jones

had 17 -- including a 5-for-5 night from 3-point range -- for Miami,

which won its fourth straight overall and ninth in a row at home.

"I think we played pretty good defense overall," said O'Neal,

who actually turns 33 on Sunday. "We took care of the ball. We got

a lot of guys involved. ... If we play like that, we should be on

our way. We just need to do what we're supposed to do and maintain

that toughness at home."

O'Neal, from the bench, even joined in the sellout crowd's chant

of "We want Zo!" And they got their wish: Alonzo Mourning made

his formal homecoming, scoring four points and adding four rebounds

in the final 3:37.

"It was a good feeling," said Mourning, who wore a home Heat

uniform for the first time since the end of the 2001-02 season

after rejoining the club this week. "I was just a little stiff,

getting out there. I'm no spring chicken anymore."

Mike Bibby had 22 points and seven assists for Sacramento, which

capped a six-game road trip by losing for the 10th time in its last

14 games. Cuttino Mobley had 17 points and Peja Stojakovic added 15

for the Kings.

Damon Jones had 14 points, and Udonis Haslem had an 11-point,

13-rebound night for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat.

Another big second-half effort keyed the win. Miami, which

outscored New Jersey 62-42 in a 16-point win Thursday night, shot

56.4 percent in the second half and outscored the Kings 56-42 after


"We didn't get any stops," Bibby said. "They were scoring. We


With starting center Brad Miller sidelined for the third

straight game because of a sore calf, the Kings relied heavily on

jump shots -- 10 of Sacramento's first 11 field goals came from the


"That's who we are. We're a jump-shooting team," said Kings

coach Rick Adelman. "We don't have a low-post game. I don't think

we have anybody like Shaq I can think of, right offhand."

But the Kings only connected on 40.5 percent of their first-half

shots, and that, combined with Miami's 24-8 inside-scoring edge in

the opening two quarters, led to a 48-41 Heat lead at intermission.

"They looked like a team that was at the end of a long, long

road trip," said Heat coach Stan Van Gundy.

And down the stretch, Miami happily took advantage of the

leg-weary Kings.

Sacramento hit its first three shots of the third quarter and

closed with 48-47, but never regained the lead. Miami connected on

63.2 percent of its shots in the period, built a 78-66 lead

entering the fourth and pulled away -- improving to 36-2 when

leading after three quarters.

The Kings, who were away from home for the ninth time in 10

games, never got closer than 12 in the final quarter.

"We've got to get home and regroup," said Adelman, whose team

will face Detroit at home Sunday. "We've got the world champs in

36 hours. We appreciate the league doing that for us."

The Heat got a brief scare with 54.4 seconds left in the first

half, when Kings center Brian Skinner pulled O'Neal down under the

basket. O'Neal -- who sprained his left knee 10 days earlier after

another awkward tumble -- fell over cameramen and fans, but was

uninjured and made one of the two resulting free throws.

Game notes
Miami was not called for a foul in the first quarter,

marking the fifth foul-free quarter in franchise history and the

first since Dec. 23, 2003, against Washington. ... Stojakovic, in

his second game since coming back from an injured hamstring, made

his first three shots, then missed six of his next seven --

including two airballs. ... O'Neal was asked what teammates should

get him for birthday gifts. "Nothing. I have it all," he said.

... Sacramento is 2-4 since trading Chris Webber to Philadelphia.

... Celebrities at the game included actress Tara Reid and Indy

Racing League driver Helio Castroneves, who'll race at

Homestead-Miami Speedway on Sunday.