Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 1/14

Game 1: Friday, January 14th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 16th

Clippers 95

(23-30, 6-20 away)

Heat 113

(40-14, 22-5 home)

    Coverage: FSPI

    7:30 PM ET, February 16, 2005

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    LAC 20 25 30 2095
    MIA 28 27 35 23113

    Top Performers

    LAC: E. Brand 18 Pts, 13 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Mia: D. Wade 28 Pts, 3 Reb, 12 Ast, 1 Stl, 4 Blk

    Jones scores 31, Wade 28 in rout of L.A.

    MIAMI (AP) -- Damon Jones thinks he should be participating in the All-Star festivities this weekend. After his effort Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Clippers probably would agree.

    Jones had a career-high 31 points -- making eight of 10 shots from 3-point range -- while Dwyane Wade had 28 points and matched a career best with 12 assists to help the Miami Heat beat the Clippers 113-95.

    Jones hit three 3-pointers in a 2-minute span to end the first quarter, then made two more late in the third to give Miami a 90-75 lead entering the final period. Over his last four games -- beginning when he wasn't picked for the 3-point contest during All-Star Weekend -- Jones has hit 23 of 32 shots from behind the arc.

    "I've been focused since I got snubbed," Jones said. "I just want to keep it going. Good players and good basketball teams, in situations like tonight when you've got the All-Star Game coming up, rise to the occasion and we did that."

    Shaquille O'Neal had 14 points and eight rebounds for the Heat, who won their seventh straight and sent the Clippers to a seventh consecutive loss -- all part of their nine-game road trip, the longest in the league this season. Los Angeles did all they could to limit O'Neal's touches, but had no answer for Wade or Jones.

    "When you are worried about Shaq and defending the post, he's going to be open," said the Clippers' Elton Brand, who had 18 points and 13 rebounds. "And he knocked down his shots."

    Corey Maggette, who was back in the Clippers' starting lineup for the first time since Jan. 20, had 21 points. All five Los Angeles starters reached double figures, but couldn't overcome a 53.3 percent shooting performance by the Heat.

    "I was pretty happy with that one," said Heat coach Stan Van Gundy, whose team moved to 40-14.

    Miami made nine of its first 12 shots after halftime, opening a 77-57 lead with 5:37 left in the third. The Clippers quickly answered with an 11-0 run to trim the margin to nine, but Jones' barrage late in the quarter restored a comfortable Miami cushion that it maintained through the fourth.

    Jones has the classic journeyman-makes-good story. He's been with eight other NBA franchises in a seven-year career, wasn't drafted out of Houston in 1997 and has played for clubs like the IBL's Black Hills Posse, the CBA's Idaho Stampede and the USBL's Jacksonville Barracudas.

    He was once a fourth-round pick in the CBA draft. Now, with him as a starter, Miami is 29-7.

    "He played fabulous tonight," O'Neal said. "He shot the ball well and if he continues shooting like that, we're going to be a fabulous team."

    Miami led 55-45 at halftime, thanks to a 21-3 run over a 6-minute stretch midway through the half.

    Jones, whose previous high was 25 points, was responsible for each of Miami's points in an 11-0 run to end the opening quarter. He hit consecutive 3-pointers from the top of the key, then fed Wade for an alley-oop dunk and closed the quarter with another 3-pointer to push Miami's lead to 28-20.

    Clippers' forward Zeljko Rebraca opened the second quarter with a three-point play, but the Heat scored the next 10 points for a 38-23 lead. The Clippers never got closer than eight again.

    "We let Damon Jones get away from us," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "It seemed that whenever we made a run or got close, he would step up and hit a big 3. He kept banging them down. ... Wade is a terrific player and made some nice plays, but Damon was the difference in the game."

    Alonzo Mourning, who's expected to sign with the Heat before their first post-All-Star practice in Chicago on Monday, wasn't in attendance. He's been undergoing a physical for the Heat, who will have to make a personnel move before signing the seven-time All-Star center.

    Van Gundy hasn't decided how to use Mourning. "I'll talk about it when he's on our team," he said.

    Game notes

    Miami had one second-half turnover. ... Miami's Eddie Jones, who broke a finger in Sunday's win over San Antonio, was 0-for-4 and didn't score. ... The Clippers lost by double figures for just the 13th time; their previous six losses were by a total of 20 points. ... Miami is 33-1 when leading after three quarters -- the loss was a double-overtime defeat against the Clippers in January, a game Wade missed with a migraine. ... Miami's seven-game winning streak is the second-longest current run in the NBA. Houston, coached by Stan Van Gundy's younger brother Jeff, has won eight straight.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 95 113
    FGM-FGA 34-80 (.425) 40-75 (.533)
    3PM-3PA 2-9 (.222) 8-15 (.533)
    FTM-FTA 25-28 (.893) 25-33 (.758)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-40 9-34
    Assists 16 27
    Turnovers 16 8
    Steals 4 4
    Blocks 5 11
    Fast Break Points 3 13
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (1/0) 24 (1/0)
    Largest Lead 5 22

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 18
    Reb: 13
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 28
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 12
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 4