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Miami sweeps season series 4-0

MIAMI (AP) -- Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade went 30-30 for the
Miami Heat.

O'Neal scored 33 and Wade had 30 to lead the Heat to their 12th
straight win, a 97-82 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday
night.

"It says a lot about our chemistry," Wade said. "We both told
each other we needed each other tonight."

Miami also won its 15 straight at home and swept the four-game
season series with New York for the first time in franchise
history.

Wade decided a Heat victory at New York last Tuesday with a shot
at buzzer, but he and O'Neal never let the Knicks get that close in
this one while becoming the first Miami teammates to each score 30
points or better in the same game since Glen Rice and Khalid Reeves
did in 1995 against Philadelphia.

"Dwyane and Shaq were obviously fantastic," Heat coach Stan
Van Gundy said. "Tonight, they just rose above everybody."

Miami, which has won 19 of 21, never trailed after a late first
quarter run and built the lead to double figures in the second
quarter.

"They came out very energetic, very psyched," Wade said. "We
just kept playing our game, got our lead and went from there."

O'Neal's presence inside, enabled Miami to outscore New York
58-30 in the paint. O'Neal also finished with 17 rebounds.

"They're two different teams with Shaq on the floor and without
Shaq on the floor," Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said. "They still
have Wade but Shaq takes them to the next level."

The Knicks cut a 17-point halftime deficit with a 14-4 spurt to
start the second half.

Wade stopped the run with an acrobatic three-point play, when he
drove deep in the lane, bumped into Kurt Thomas and converted on a
shot with his back to the basket. The Knicks vehemently argued
Thomas was in position to draw a charging foul but Thomas instead
was called for the block.

"I thought I was there," Thomas said. "He made a nice move
attacking the basket. I tried to come over and take the charge but
I guess I was a little late."

New York remained within striking distance behind two 3-pointers
from Crawford, his second cutting Miami's lead to 71-63 with 47
seconds remaining in the third period.

Wade scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and the
Knicks never could get closer than 75-66 with 9:48 in the game.

Stephon Marbury led New York with 23 points, while Crawford
finished with 20 points.

"We played as hard as we could and tried to get a win,"
Marbury said. "We could have easily shut it down, when they went
up but we didn't. We continued to fight and came to play against a
very good team."

O'Neal scored six points in a 12-point run, which pushed the
Heat's lead to 45-27 with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter.

"I had an awful first quarter but I picked it up," O'Neal
said. "To all you single guys out there, it's not how you start
the date, it's how you finish the date."

The Knicks twice had nine-point leads in the first quarter,
including a 15-6 advantage after Thomas' field goal with 7:02
remaining.

But the Heat, paced by Eddie Jones' seven points, ended the
first on a 19-6 run. Jones finished the quarter hitting all five of
his shots.

"They played well tonight, their rotation was a lot crisper
(than Tuesday's game)," Knicks head coach Herb Williams said.
"They can be a championship team."

Game notes
Wade has scored 30 or more points in 11 games this
season ... Christian Laettner hurt his right foot late in the
second quarter and did not return. He will be placed on the injured
list and miss the next five games. Alonzo Mourning will take his
place on the Heat's rotation ... The Knicks are 13-19 in
back-to-back games this season. They completed their 16th set of
back-to-back games and have another five remaining this season ...
Movie director and Knicks fan Spike Lee attended the game ...
Thirteen-year-old Lateefah Dooling, a cousin of Heat reserve guard
Keyon Dooling, sang the national anthem.