Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/19

Game 1: Sunday, December 19th
Game 2: Saturday, February 26th
Game 3: Sunday, February 27th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 20th

Magic 98

(28-26, 9-19 away)

Heat 101

(41-16, 23-5 home)

    1:00 PM ET, February 26, 2005

    AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

    1 2 3 4 T
    ORL 22 18 31 2798
    MIA 20 26 24 31101

    Top Performers

    Orl: G. Hill 28 Pts, 4 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Mia: D. Wade 25 Pts, 3 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Blk

    Wade guides Heat victory with late 'Magic'

    MIAMI (AP) -- Ordinarily, Shaquille O'Neal would be around the basket and helping Miami guard precarious leads in the closing seconds of tight games.

    He wasn't there Saturday, still nursing a sprained knee -- but Dwyane Wade filled his role nicely.

    Wade scored 14 of his 25 points in the final quarter, plus swatted away a layup try by Steve Francis with 10.2 seconds left to help secure the Heat's 101-98 win over the Orlando Magic.

    "I don't get animated too much. When I do, there's a cause behind it," said Wade, who displayed plenty of emotion down the stretch. "I was excited at that moment, trying to get my team going and let everybody know that we were going to win the game."

    Wade scored eight straight Miami points in the final minutes, the first four coming on a pair of tiebreaking jumpers, the last four from the foul line, including a pair to give the Heat a 99-95 lead with 15.8 seconds left.

    And he capped the win with two big defensive plays, including the block that erased Francis' layup attempt that could have drawn the Magic within two. Francis drove down the lane and had a step on Eddie Jones, got the shot off, but Wade soared and sent the ball bounding into the first row of sideline seats.

    "I was surprised Dwyane was able to come over and block that shot," said Francis, who pointed out that he had two blocks in the game when asked about Wade's play. "Once I got by Eddie, there was another guy and I threw the shot. It was a good defensive play."

    With Orlando down by three with 0.4 seconds left, Wade tipped the Magic's inbound pass and kept them from trying a desperation shot at overtime.

    "He certainly asserted himself down the stretch," Orlando coach Johnny Davis said.

    Eddie Jones had 15 points, Damon Jones added 14, Rasual Butler 12 and Michael Doleac 10 for Miami, which was without O'Neal for essentially a third straight game. He was injured early in Tuesday night's loss to Chicago.

    Orlando's Grant Hill led all scorers with 28 points, on 12-for-17 shooting. Francis, who had 31 points in Orlando's last matchup with Miami, missed his first six shots from the field and finished with 16.

    "There was a little slippage there with five, six minutes left," Hill said. "Wade kind of got going. He's a great player, so that's going to happen."

    Hedo Turkoglu scored 14 points, including a 3-pointer that brought Orlando within 99-98 with 1.1 seconds left, and Jameer Nelson added 13 points and seven assists for the Magic.

    Orlando scored eight straight points and led 75-70 with 11:10 remaining, but the Heat -- helped by six points from Wade -- responded with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes, reclaimed an 80-77 lead.

    Turkoglu's 3-pointer with 7:24 remaining put the Magic back up 81-80, but Miami's reserves scored the next six points and the Heat wouldn't trail again.

    Keyon Dooling's jumper with 6:34 left and highlight-reel dunk 30 seconds later -- afterward, Wade said it was in the top five he'd seen this season -- put Miami up 84-81.

    And although Orlando tied it three times in the final 1:56, Miami hung on.

    "We wanted to win this one. We put an emphasis on not losing this game," Dooling said. "We have not had a three-game losing streak all season. We didn't want to start now, especially with the Big Fella out. Guys needed to step up."

    Wade battled through a slow offensive start, not getting his first field goal until 5:12 before halftime, and was in foul trouble for much of the game. He went to the bench with his fifth foul with 7:04 remaining and Miami trailing by one -- and Heat coach Stan Van Gundy considered leaving him in the game.

    Assistant coach Ron Rothstein, however, suggested giving Wade a brief rest, so Damon Jones replaced him and Dooling was shifted to point guard. And afterward, the move looked perfect.

    "This was a great win for us," said Van Gundy, whose team moved to an East-leading 41-16. "We didn't really have an answer for Grant Hill, but we fought and fought ... and did a great job down the stretch."

    Game notes

    The teams play again Sunday in Orlando. ... Miami missed 10 of its first 11 shots. ... Francis started the game wearing protective goggles, yet shed them quickly in what's become a bit of a trend; they've been troublesome since he first donned them after being scratched two weeks ago. ... Miami activated F Christian Laettner (inflamed arch) from the injured list and placed G Steve Smith (lower back strain) on the injured list.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 101
    FGM-FGA 38-79 (.481) 39-85 (.459)
    3PM-3PA 2-7 (.286) 3-12 (.250)
    FTM-FTA 20-28 (.714) 20-24 (.833)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-38 14-40
    Assists 19 15
    Turnovers 11 10
    Steals 4 3
    Blocks 6 3
    Fast Break Points 10 10
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 8 10

    Top Performers

    Grant Hill Hill
    Points: 28
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 25
    Reb: 3
    Ast: 4
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1