DALLAS -- So much for the rematch of the 2006 NBA Finals.
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade both missed Miami's 94-89 loss at
Dallas on Friday night, leaving the Heat without the key players
from the team that beat the Mavericks for the title two seasons
O'Neal, whose career average of 29 points per game against
Dallas is his best against any team, missed his fourth straight
game because of bursitis in his left hip.
Wade, who had not missed a game since making his season debut
Nov. 14, got a night off because of an accumulation of injuries,
including his right pinkie and right shoulder.
Dallas was without starting center Erick Dampier, who has a sore
left knee. Dampier scored more than 10 points in each of his last
two games after having done so only once all season.
The Heat lost in Dallas last season in their first visit since
the Finals, running their regular-season losing streak in Dallas to
But Miami came in with a lot bigger problems. The Heat were 8-24
-- their .250 winning percentage lowest in the East and second-worst
in the NBA -- and were starting a five-game road trip.
"We've got to hang together during this tough time for us,"
coach Pat Riley said before tipoff. "This can be real hard if you
aren't together. And these [injuries] are the kinds of things that
make it hard to hang together."