Wade gets 25, HEAT roll past Magic 104-86
By TIM REYNOLDS
MIAMI (AP) Dwyane Wade emerged from the training room wearing a black robe and with a thick bag of ice strapped to his aching right wrist.
“It’s all right now,” Wade said.
Unlikely as it seemed a few days ago, so are the Miami HEAT, who enjoyed a rare romp past the Orlando Magic.
Wade had 25 points and seven assists, Michael Beasley added 22 points and the HEAT were in control throughout an easy 104-86 victory over the Eastern Conference champion Magic on Thursday night.
Dorell Wright and Quentin Richardson each scored 11 points for the HEAT, who beat their Southeast Division rivals for the second time in two meetings this year after netting only one win against Orlando in the previous three seasons combined.
“I think if we continue to play with this focus, play with this energy, we’ll be a pretty tough team to beat,” Beasley said.
Dwight Howard finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, who fell to 15-4 against the East this season. J.J. Redick scored 13 points, Mickael Pietrus added 12 and Vince Carter was scoreless for the first 21 minutes before finishing with 10 points for Orlando.
Magic coach Stan Van Gundy wanted to shoulder the blame, saying he tinkered with Orlando’s defensive schemes beforehand. Players, including Rashard Lewis, pointed the finger at themselves instead.
“I hate to say it, but before the game I saw this coming,” Van Gundy said.
Whatever he changed didn’t work, as Miami shot 52 percent from the floor.
“You can be in the right place. If you’re not going hard, it doesn’t matter,” Redick said.
Wade sat out the entire fourth quarter for the third straight game, all of them routs with Miami winning the last two. Since a pair of team meetings following a 28-point home loss to Memphis on Sunday, the Heat are 2-0 with an average winning margin of 19 points.
“It’s been a good week for us to grow and that’s part of the development of this team,” HEAT coach Erik Spoelstra said. “In the NBA, that’s sometimes what you have to do is sequester yourself when you have adversity. There’s so many things.”
The Magic have dominated the Sunshine State rivalry in recent years, winning 12 of the last 14 meetings coming into Thursday. The only two Orlando losses in that span were by six points last January, then a single point on Nov. 25.
This one, much different.
Miami hadn’t enjoyed a blowout against Orlando since Feb. 15, 2006, 16 series games ago. The HEAT won 110-100 that night, a final margin that belied the fact Miami led by as many as 29 in that game.
Unbelievably as it may seem, considering Orlando had won 12 of the last 14 in the series, Miami led by 29 in this one as well.
“We need to start games with an energy and a focus and we didn’t do that tonight,” Van Gundy said.
Sparked by three separate 10-0 runs, the HEAT led 89-60 entering the fourth quarter. The first two spurts came in the first quarter, putting Miami up 12-6 and then 33-18.
And the final burst came to close the third, although it may have been costly for Miami.
Wade hit a pullup 3-pointer with 1 minute remaining, putting Miami up 87-60. When Redick tried a layup in transition moments later, Wade lurked behind then pounced to block it off the backboard.
“If he was a guy who could dunk the ball, it would have been a little different,” Wade said. “But since I knew it he was going to lay it in, it made it a little easier to time it.”
Redick went tumbling, but Wade apparently got the worst of the deal.
Already bothered by a sore right wrist for the past week, Wade started shaking his shooting hand seconds after making that block and asked to be removed from the game.
It was about the only downside for Miami all night. Miami’s starting backcourt of Wade and Carlos Arroyo combined for 14 assists and no turnovers.
NOTES: The HEAT had two turnovers in the first half. … Williams, the point guard when Miami won its NBA title in 2006, got a warm ovation when starting lineups were announced. His last time playing in Miami for an opposing team was Dec. 28, 2001 for Memphis. … Florida Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez, a close friend of Van Gundy, was courtside.
Updated December 17, 2009