Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 2)

Series starts 12/2

Game 1: Friday, December 2nd
Game 2: Sunday, January 22nd

Heat 98

(10-6, 3-4 away)

Kings 87

(7-9, 6-4 home)

    Coverage: KXTV

    7:00 PM ET, December 2, 2005

    Sleep Train Arena, Sacramento, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIA 29 28 24 1798
    SAC 24 24 25 1487

    Top Performers

    Mia: D. Wade 27 Pts, 5 Reb, 7 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

    Sac: B. Miller 18 Pts, 15 Reb, 5 Ast, 1 Stl

    D-Wade scores 27 in Heat victory

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- The big man in the middle carried the Miami Heat -- not Shaquille O'Neal, but the 35-year-old guy with one kidney and a huge heart who's in the midst of a stunning career revival.

    Alonzo Mourning blocked seven shots in a dominant defensive performance, and Dwyane Wade's 27 points and seven assists provided just enough offense in the Heat's fourth straight victory over the Sacramento Kings, 98-87 on Friday night.

    Miami was 3-of-14 in the fourth quarter and made 20 turnovers in the game, nearly giving it away at several junctures. Mourning wouldn't allow it, blocking four shots in the fourth quarter and seemingly challenging every drive to the hoop.

    Mourning played just 137 games over the past five seasons while recovering from kidney disease and the resulting transplant. He single-handedly turning the Kings into a bunch of tentative, inaccurate jump-shooters -- and like the Sacramento fans, his teammates and coaches could only marvel.

    "Zo at the rim, it's crazy," Miami coach Stan Van Gundy said. "You literally can't score on him. Seven blocks, and how many other shots did he change? ... He's just playing at an extremely high level."

    It was one of the most impressive defensive efforts in recent years at Arco Arena, where the Kings annually are among the NBA's highest-scoring teams. Mourning, who also had 12 points and six rebounds, saw nothing remarkable in his defense, which includes 27 blocks in the last five games.

    "It's something I've been doing my whole career," he said. "I haven't been keeping up with (the statistics). The only thing I keep up with is Ws. I'm not a child any more. I don't care about numbers. All I care about now is a championship ring."

    Mourning also got into an entertaining fourth-quarter battle with Brad Miller, with Mourning accusing Miller of pulling him into a charging foul. Mourning then blocked consecutive Sacramento shots with 9:20 to play.

    "I was saying, 'Can I please get one shot off?" asked Bonzi Wells, who scored 16 points. "I was almost hoping Shaq played. (Mourning) is an excellent defender."

    Jason Williams scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half for the Heat, who made just enough defensive stops down the stretch to hang on for their third straight win despite 20 turnovers and 3-of-14 shooting in the fourth quarter.

    Although this victory was nearly as ugly as the Kings' shooting, the Heat have won the first two games of a five-game trip, which culminates in a meeting with the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.

    Miller had 18 points, 15 rebounds and five assists for the Kings, who lost their second straight after climbing back to .500 for the first time this season. The Kings had ample chances to catch up, but missed all eight of their 3-pointers in the fourth quarter.

    "We had one stretch there in the fourth quarter when we had (Miami's lead) down, and I thought we took three hurried shots," coach Rick Adelman said. "That was the time we needed to slow up, and we didn't do it."

    Peja Stojakovic was awful again in his third straight game back from a three-game absence with a sprained finger. The slumping Serbian went 3-for-16 and missed all six of his shots in the fourth quarter.

    Stojakovic is 7-for-34 since rejoining the lineup with a bandage on his sprained finger, but his teammates also struggled to hit open shots. Mike Bibby had 16 points and nine assists, but was 1-for-5 in the fourth quarter.

    "We couldn't make a big shot, especially me," Stojakovic said. "I'm trying to be aggressive, but my shot didn't look good. My finger is feeling better every day, but I'm struggling right now."

    Wade was outstanding despite battling foul trouble, while James Posey and Antoine Walker hit three 3-pointers apiece for the Heat.

    Williams matched his season high with four 3-pointers in the first half, coolly pulling up for the long shots still familiar to fans in Sacramento, where he played his first three NBA seasons before getting traded for Bibby.

    The Heat stretched its lead to 13 in the second quarter with a 23-12 run. Sacramento pulled within four points in the third, but never got closer.

    Game notes

    For the first time in Van Gundy's recent memory, the Heat had 13 healthy players, forcing rookie Gerald Fitch to be scratched. "We have to make decisions. It's great," Van Gundy quipped. ... A fan hit a half-court shot in the third quarter to win a truck. ... O'Neal missed his 14th straight game with a sprained right ankle, watching from the bench in a nattily tailored suit.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 98 87
    FGM-FGA 36-74 (.486) 35-83 (.422)
    3PM-3PA 11-21 (.524) 3-15 (.200)
    FTM-FTA 15-18 (.833) 14-17 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-40 8-36
    Assists 23 28
    Turnovers 20 14
    Steals 7 8
    Blocks 12 5
    Fast Break Points 17 12
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 21 (2/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 13 3

    Top Performers

    Dwyane Wade Wade
    Points: 27
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 7
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 1
    Brad Miller Miller
    Points: 18
    Reb: 15
    Ast: 5
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 0