With their winning streak in jeopardy, the Miami Heat wisely turned to Shaquille O'Neal. Mixing finesse and muscle, Shaq sparked a 13-point run late in the fourth quarter and the host Heat won their eighth game in a row, beating the Orlando Magic, 117-107, last night.
The winning streak is Miami's longest since March 1998, and the past four victories have come against teams above .500.
The Heat trailed for much of the game and were down, 103-102, with five minutes left before O'Neal helped them surge ahead.
On consecutive possessions, O'Neal hit a dunk, fed Eddie Jones for a 3-pointer that put Miami ahead to stay, then passed to Christian Laettner for a layup that made it 107-103. O'Neal's 3-point play a minute later made it 110-103.
The score was 115-103 before Steve Francis hit a layup for the Magic -- their only points in the final five minutes.
O'Neal finished with 27 points. Jones went 8 for 10 and scored 25 points. Dwyane Wade added 22 despite missing 14 of 20 shots.
Grizzlies 92, Clippers 82 -- Pau Gasol scored 6 of his 20 points in the final 5:05 and Jason Williams added a pair of 3-pointers down the stretch as visiting Memphis beat Los Angeles. Mike Miller's fourth 3-pointer of the game and 500th of his career capped a 13-2 run that turned a 2-point deficit into an 85-79 lead for Memphis with 3:06 to play. Williams, held to three baskets in the first three quarters, made two 3-pointers in the spurt that included four free throws by Gasol.
The Clippers have lost five straight and six of seven.
Kings 107, Hornets 71 -- Peja Stojakovic scored 21 points, and host Sacramento pulled away in the second half for a blowout of New Orleans (2-21). Brad Miller had 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists for the Kings, who played their reserves most of the fourth quarter and recorded their biggest margin of victory this season.
Knicks 94, Jazz 93 -- Jamal Crawford scored 11 of his 24 points in the final five minutes, including a rare 4-point play, in host New York's victory over Utah. Crawford missed his first six shots before finding his stroke. His running floater off a nifty move against Raja Bell made it 90-86 with 27 seconds left, and Stephon Marbury's two free throws with 6.4 remaining gave New York a 4-point lead.
Raptors 110, Nets 99 -- Lamond Murray scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and host Toronto beat New Jersey, its first victory of the post-Vince Carter era. Carter wasn't at the