Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 3)

Series starts 11/3

Game 1: Wednesday, November 3rd
Game 2: Thursday, March 3rd
Game 3: Saturday, March 12th

Nets 65

(27-36, 11-22 away)

Heat 90

(48-16, 27-5 home)

1:00 PM ET, March 12, 2005

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
NJ 17 22 16 1065
MIA 22 15 33 2090

Top Performers

NJ: V. Carter 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast

Mia: E. Jones 18 Pts, 5 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

Jones sparks decisive third quarter for Miami

MIAMI (AP) -- The Miami Heat overcame a lackluster first half to keep two winning streaks alive.

Eddie Jones scored 14 of his 18 points in a decisive third quarter to send the Heat to their eighth consecutive win, 90-65 over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday.

Shaquille O'Neal had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat, who allowed their lowest point total of the season. Damon Jones added 15 points and Dwyane Wade 13 as Miami won its 12th consecutive home game.

"We came together in the third quarter," Eddie Jones said. "We huddled up and said, 'Let's step it up."

Vince Carter scored 20 for the Nets, who managed just 26 points in the second half and lost for the fourth time in five games. They shot 29.7 percent overall, but their point total wasn't a season low. The Nets beat Portland 64-60 on Nov. 9.

Miami took control in the third quarter, when it scored 33 points and turned a two-point halftime deficit into a 70-55 advantage. New Jersey shot 3-of-18 in the quarter and never threatened after that.

"We just kept packing it in," O'Neal said of Miami's defense. "Teams are going to have to shoot really well from outside to beat us."

Miami shot 47.8 percent for the game, with Eddie Jones going 6-of-9 and Damon Jones 6-of-10.

"When you have two players like Wade and O'Neal, they're going to be able to get guys open shots," Nets forward Cliff Robinson said. "Eddie Jones was able to knock down those shots, he was open."

Wade had nine points in the fourth to run his streak of scoring in double figures to 39 consecutive games. Foul trouble limited Wade to just four points through three quarters.

O'Neal's streak of recording at least one block in 21 straight games ended. With Miami holding a big lead, O'Neal didn't play in the fourth quarter.

Alonzo Mourning scored three points, including his second field goal since rejoining the Heat on March 1. Steve Smith played in his first game since being acquired Feb. 24.

The win, combined with San Antonio's loss to Denver later Saturday, left the Heat (48-16) only percentage points behind the Spurs and Phoenix (both 47-15) in the race for the NBA's best overall record.

Jason Kidd had seven points, seven rebounds and four assists as New Jersey built a 39-37 halftime lead. The Heat barely avoided tying their season low of 36 points in a half.

"I thought the first half was horrible," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "We didn't bring any energy or life at all."

Miami scored the final nine points of the first quarter to take a 22-17 lead. Damon Jones scored 10, sinking four of five shots overall and two of three 3-pointers.

"With 2:59 left in the third quarter, it was an eight-point game," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said. "Eight becomes 15 at the end of the third and so on and so forth. ... We were not able to end their runs. It was not pretty." ^Notes:@ Oakland Raiders wide receiver Randy Moss, former Heat center Rony Seikaly and rapper Lil' Jon were at the game. ... It was the teams' final meeting this season. The Heat won all three. ... Miami's record for consecutive home wins is 14, which began late last season and extended into the beginning of this season. ... Carter has scored at least 20 points in 26 of his last 28 games.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 65 90
FGM-FGA 22-74 (.297) 33-69 (.478)
3PM-3PA 1-11 (.091) 6-18 (.333)
FTM-FTA 20-26 (.769) 18-28 (.643)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 12-37 10-45
Assists 10 17
Turnovers 15 13
Steals 9 7
Blocks 2 3
Fast Break Points 4 9
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 19 (1/0)
Largest Lead 6 30

Top Performers

New Jersey
Vince Carter Carter
Points: 20
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 0
Blk: 0
Eddie Jones Jones
Points: 18
Reb: 5
Ast: 2
Stl: 1
Blk: 0