Monday, January 3, 2011

NBA Wrap: James, Wade power Heat to 96-82 win over Bobcats

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) On a day when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade split the Eastern Conference player of the month award, the duo delivered yet another road victory and reached a new achievement.
Yes, the Miami Heat superstars can put up big numbers together.
James scored 38 points for his 10th game of 30 or more and Wade added 31 for his ninth. But Monday night's 96-82 victory over the short-handed Charlotte Bobcats marked the first time they each topped 30 in the same game.
"To look at us in the Boston game earlier this year, we didn't know what each other was thinking," Wade said. "Now we're on the same page. Us not being able to play together is not a conversation anymore. I think we do a good job of playing off each other.
"This is what we envisioned and it's starting to come true," he said.
The memories of the terrible opening-night loss to the Celtics and the 9-8 start are fading fast as the Heat cruised to their 18th win in 19 games and 11th straight on the road.
Playing for the first time against Paul Silas, his first NBA coach in Cleveland, James scored 26 points in the second half and added nine rebounds. Wade had 18 points in the first half and grabbed 11 boards.
"I guess ESPN needs to make a show of me an D-Wade now, '30 for 30,"' James joked.
With James and Wade playing like this, the Bobcats wouldn't have had much of a chance at full strength. With the lineup they put out there, they had none.
"When Wade is going and LeBron is going, you have to call it a day," Silas said.

Turkoglu leads Magic over Warriors 110-90

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) Hedo Turkoglu gave Magic fans a glowing demonstration of why the team made him a key figure in its massive reorganization two weeks ago.

Turkoglu, part of two trades involving eight players that Orlando engineered to reload its roster, had 10 points, 10 assists and 14 rebounds in the Magic's 110-90 rout over Golden State on Monday night.
"I'm glad I finally did something to help this team win," said Turkoglu, who has been steady in nearly every game since his return to the Magic. "When I have the ball in my hands, I'm able to do the things I'm good at. My strength is to be the guy who is a facilitator, get my shot or find one for my teammates."
It was the third triple-double of his career and helped the Magic run their winning streak to six games. Dwight Howard scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.
Jason Richardson, who came to Orlando from Phoenix with Turkoglu and Earl Clark, said the Magic are taking better advantage of Turkoglu's ball-handling skills than the Suns did. Much of that was evident in the second half when Orlando outscored Golden State 66-37 to erase a nine-point halftime deficit. Turkoglu for seven assists in the final two periods.
"It's great to see Hedo come back alive and play the kind of basketball he's capable of playing," Richardson said. "It was a different situation in Phoenix. Steve (Nash) was so great with the ball out there and we couldn't really figure a way to play them together out there.
"But (Turkoglu) is like having another point guard here. He knows the system and he's really taking advantage of it," Richardson said.
Howard played a key role in opening up the floor for Turkoglu and his teammates. Orlando made 15 3-pointers, 12 in the second half when the Warriors couldn't decide whether to smother Howard inside or stay with Orlando's shooters out on the perimeter. Turns out, they did neither.

Celtics beat 'Wolves despite Love's 24 rebounds

BOSTON (AP) Paul Pierce was content to set up his teammates while passing up his own shots. At halftime, Celtics coach Doc Rivers took him aside to remind him of his role on the team.
"I forgot we had Rondo out there," Pierce said.
The Celtics captain scored 15 of his 23 points in the third quarter to help Boston overcome a double-digit deficit - and another double-digit rebounding performance by Kevin Love - and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-93 on Monday night.
Pierce scored 11 straight Boston points in the third quarter to cut a 10-point deficit in half, then added a jumper to make it 73-70 heading into the fourth. Rondo, who missed seven games last month with a sprained ankle, had 16 assists, and when the Timberwolves played him to pass he made a pair of key baskets down the stretch.
"I thought Paul in the first half tried way too hard to get everybody involved," Rivers said. "I told Paul, `You don't need to be the playmaker. We need you to score."'
Love had 24 rebounds and 12 points, but he airballed a jumper with just over a minute left and Minnesota trailing by one.
The Timberwolves had the ball out of bounds and a chance to take the lead with 10.3 seconds left. But Luke Ridnour, with a clear path to the basket, was called for traveling. (Ray Allen swatted the shot away anyway).
"I knew Ray had it. All the way," Rivers said with a laugh. "Yeah, we put Ray back there to protect the basket."
Michael Beasley, who scored 19 and Minnesota's last four baskets, complimented Allen but didn't think much of the traveling call.
"I'm not a referee," he said. "That's how they decided to call the game."
After Nate Robinson made a pair of free throws, Minnesota had the ball on the side with 1.8 seconds left but Beasley's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced harmlessly off the backboard.

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