Tue, Jan 03, 2006 - Page 19 News List



Dwyane Wade scored 19 points and Miami used a big third quarter to pull away to a 97-70 victory over Minnesota on Sunday night.

Shaquille O'Neal had 16 points for Miami, which allowed a season low in points, set a season high for margin of victory and held the Timberwolves to their lowest point total this season.

James Posey had 11 points for the Heat, who moved to a season-high six games over .500 (19-13).

Wally Szczerbiak scored 19 points and Kevin Garnett matched a season low with 11 for Minnesota, which has won two of its last 10 games but remains atop the Midwest Division.

Miami outscored Minnesota 25-6 in the opening 7:30 of the third quarter, turning a three-point halftime deficit into a 66-50 lead. Wade had nine points in the run and O'Neal added six.

Clippers 100, Trail Blazers 94

At Portland, Oregon, Elton Brand had 20 points and 11 rebounds and the Clippers snapped a losing streak at the Rose Garden that dated to 1999.

The Clippers had lost 12 straight in Portland since an 89-83 win on April 11, 1999, and 26 of 29 since the start of the 1991-1992 season.

After getting off to a 10-5 start this November, the Clippers went 6-7 in December, wrapping up the month with a 111-92 loss to Boston on Saturday.

Cuttino Mobley had 23 points for the Clippers and Sam Cassell added 22.

Juan Dixon had 24 points for the Blazers.

Jazz 98, Lakers 94

At Los Angeles, Andrei Kirilenko scored 23 points, Keith McLeod scored four of his 15 points in the final 78 seconds and Utah took full advantage of Kobe Bryant's suspension.

Bryant was suspended for two games without pay by the NBA after committing a flagrant foul against Mike Miller during last Wednesday's overtime loss to Memphis. The Lakers' star will forfeit US$289,943 in salary. Bryant won't accompany the team to Salt Lake City for the second half of the home-and-home set with the Jazz, but will return to the lineup on Friday night to face Philadelphia.

Brian Cook connected on his first eight shots and finished with 19 points for the Lakers, who lost their fourth straight game after winning nine of their previous 11. The third-year forward finished 8-for-10 while playing a season-high 40 minutes.

Mavericks coach Avery Johnson talks about consistency day to day, practice to practice, game to game.

String together enough consistent performances, and certain objectives begin to fall into place. One such aim can easily be graded with each new moon.

"We have a goal to win 10 games a month," guard Marquis Daniels said.

So far, the Mavs (22-8) are 2-for-2. They followed up a 10-4 November with a 12-4 march through the last month of 2005, setting the franchise record for wins in December.

The only time any Mavs team bettered last month came in 2002, when coach Don Nelson's squad went 14-1 in November. The Mavs have won 10 or more games in five consecutive months, the longest such streak in team history.

By comparison, the Mavs won at least 10 in a month only once for the entire decade of the 1990s. They lost at least 10 in a month 27 times.

Extending the streak to six consecutive months and beyond will be a challenge, considering how the schedule plays out the rest of the way.

The Mavs have 15 games this month, beginning Tuesday against Portland at American Airlines Center. Nine of the games are on the road, where the Mavs are 11-4.

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