Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 11/30

Game 1: Tuesday, November 30th
Game 2: Sunday, December 12th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 26th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 29th

Heat 106

(15-7, 8-4 away)

Raptors 98

(7-16, 5-4 home)

1:00 PM ET, December 12, 2004

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 18 36 23 29106
TOR 27 30 23 1898

Top Performers

Miami: S. O'Neal 20 Pts, 9 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

Toronto: J. Rose 25 Pts, 6 Reb, 2 Ast

Heat unbeaten since Jones became starter

TORONTO (AP) -- Damon Jones is undefeated as a starter with the Miami Heat.

Shaquille O'Neal had 20 points and Dwyane Wade added 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists as the Heat won their fourth straight, 106-98 over the struggling Toronto Raptors on Sunday.

Jones had 16 points, including a key 3-pointer with 1:06 left.

"Don't jinx us," Jones said when told the Heat are undefeated since he became their starting point guard. "It feels really good to be able to start and finish a game."

Jones stared and yelled at Toronto's bench after his 3-pointer gave Miami a 100-92 lead 1:06 left. He added two free throws with 44 seconds left to make it a nine-point lead.

"They were on me all game long, saying I can't make shots," said Jones, who made leads the NBA with 64 3-pointers.

O'Neal has told Jones he'll give him $50,000 if he wins the 3-point shooting contest at All-Star weekend. Shaq likes Jones, who is on his ninth team in seven years.

"Damon Jones is a good floor leader, a good shooter and an all-around funny guy," O'Neal said.

Told Jones talks a lot of trash, O'Neal said: "He sure does."

Miami stepped up its defense in the fourth quarter as Toronto went 6-for-20 from the field with five turnovers.

The Heat outscored the undersized Raptors 52-26 in the paint.

Jalen Rose scored 25 points for the Raptors, who have lost seven straight and 15 of 18. Vince Carter is on the injured list with a strained left Achilles' tendon, and Toronto hasn't won a game without him since January 2003.

The Heat led by just three before a double-teamed O'Neal passed to Christian Laettner for two straight uncontested layups, giving Miami a 97-90 lead with 2:14 remaining.

"Layups like that just break your back," Toronto coach Sam Mitchell said.

Former Heat point guard Rafer Alston had 19 points, nine assists and eight turnovers. Alston played the entire game because backup Milt Palacio missed his second straight for personal reasons.

Game notes

O'Neal defended Carter's toughness to reporters before the game, but later teased him during the game with a hand gesture that inferred that Carter is a wimp. "I wouldn't say he's not tough. He's just up here by himself. He just needs somebody else with him. Two superheros is always better than one," O'Neal told reporters. O'Neal didn't mention Rose, rumored to be involved in a possible trade for Eddie Jones. ... Alston thinks Mitchell should stop coaching as if he's still a player. "He's got to leave that to the side," said Alston, who says not everyone can play like Mitchell did. "He was a tough, hard-nose defender. For some of us that's not our makeup."

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 106 98
FGM-FGA 42-75 (.560) 36-77 (.468)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 9-21 (.429)
FTM-FTA 17-30 (.567) 17-23 (.739)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-41 12-40
Assists 22 20
Turnovers 15 18
Steals 8 6
Blocks 6 0
Fast Break Points 4 12
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (2/0) 24 (2/0)
Largest Lead 9 11

Top Performers

Shaquille O'Neal O'Neal
Points: 20
Reb: 9
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 4
Jalen Rose Rose
Points: 25
Reb: 6
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0