OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Dwyane Wade limped along with ice wrapped
around his left ankle and shin and another pack on his right foot.
Shaquille O'Neal moved slowly on his tender ankle, too.
Miami's two hobbling stars are beginning to find their top form
again and it's leading to positive results.
Wade had 32 points, 11 assists and five rebounds and the Heat
won their fourth straight against the Golden State Warriors, 110-96
on Wednesday night.
O'Neal bounced back from two subpar games to finish with 21
points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who won easily despite
shooting only 8-of-19 from the free throw line -- 1-for-11 by
"I should have had 40 tonight. I was messing around," said
O'Neal, who appeared in his 16th game back since a sprained right
ankle sidelined him Nov. 3. "I'm starting to get my legs under me
and get my game back."
Antoine Walker added 19 points with a season-high five
3-pointers and had five assists off the bench and Gary Payton had
13 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the Heat's fourth game
of their season-long seven-game road trip. Miami goes to Seattle,
Utah and Los Angeles to play the Lakers before heading home.
Wade has two great games after sitting out last Friday at
Phoenix with a left shin contusion.
"I just try to come out aggressive," he said. "It all starts
on the defensive end for myself, and that helps my offensive
The cold-shooting Warriors lost their third straight playing for
the first time since last Thursday's 99-89 home loss to the Indiana
Pacers. Golden State got hammered on the boards by the bigger Heat
Baron Davis had 26 points and six assists for the Warriors,
making one of his most powerful dunks of the season in the first
quarter. Davis drove to the left side, then switched the ball to
his right hand for a strong one-handed jam.
Golden State hasn't won yet in 2006.
"It's not the end of the world," said Jason Richardson, who
had 15 points and five rebounds. "We're still right there. Of
course we aren't playing at the level we're capable of."
and didn't seem to be slowed by his tender left ankle. Murphy,
Golden State's top rebounder and third-leading scorer, sprained his
ankle with 4:11 left in the third period of last Thursday's loss to
Indiana and didn't return.
After Murphy made two free throws to pull the Warriors within
65-60 with 5:50 left in the third quarter, Miami answered with an
8-0 spurt and led comfortably the rest of the way.
"We're scrambling a little bit. We're scuffling a little bit,"
Warriors coach Mike Montgomery said. "We're disappointed. I don't
think we know exactly what we need to do."
O'Neal was coming off two poor games -- eight points at Phoenix
last Friday and 12 at Portland on Sunday. He gave Warriors rookie
Ike Diogu a lesson on inside play, dunking hard on consecutive
possessions in the third quarter.
Golden State used four different centers against Shaq: Diogu,
having averaged 31 points and 12 rebounds in his previous 10 games
at Golden State, outscored them 21-10.
"I'm used to playing against four different centers," O'Neal
The defensive end is where coach Pat Riley believes his team
needs the most work. He knows it will take time, but he is seeing
The Warriors showed some rust from their long layoff and
struggled to make open shots. The teams were tied at 26 after the
opening quarter, but Golden State missed 10 of its first 15 shots
in the second period and trailed by as many as 11. The Heat led
53-43 at halftime and held a 27-18 rebounding edge.
Miami is still trying to become more consistent.
"I think we're a long ways away and I think they'd be the first
ones to admit it," said Riley, who took over Dec. 13 following the
resignation of Stan Van Gundy. "Right now, it's spotty."Game notes
Golden State had hoped Mickael Pietrus might return from a
sprained right knee, but Pietrus missed his 22nd straight game.
Coach Mike Montgomery will be cautious at first with the swingman,
who is averaging 10.5 points and 2.8 rebounds. "He knows the knee
is OK," Montgomery said. "It's just a matter of him getting
confidence in it." ... The Warriors sold out for the third time in
four games with a season-high 20,076 fans and also expect sellouts
in each of their next three: Saturday vs. Kobe Bryant and the
Lakers; next Monday against the Seattle SuperSonics; and next
Oakland A's outfielder Eric Byrnes, now with the Arizona
Diamondbacks, attended the game. Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C.
Sabathia, born in nearby Vallejo, sat courtside.
- Bill Spooner
- Jason Phillips
- Scott Wall