Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 20 News List

Practice gives Heat edge

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION Following an early practice, Dwyane Wade had 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and Miami overcame New Jersey 102-92 to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven series

AP , EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY AND LOS ANGELES

Phoenix star Steve Nash was held to eight points and 11 assists. He shot 3-of-11, and didn't make a field goal after halftime.

"They're double-teaming him most every time," D'Antoni said. "We're getting shots. The other guys have got to step up and knock it down. I think he's doing his job."

Nash, the two-time league MVP, didn't agree completely.

"The way they're playing me, I'm not going to have a prolific scoring series," he said. "I've got to play a little better -- I'm not playing very well the last couple of games."

Corey Maggette had 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Radmanovic scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, and Shaun Livingston added 11 points for the Clippers.

Raja Bell led the Suns with a career playoff-high 33 points -- two more than his regular-season career best. Boris Diaw added 21 points, seven rebounds and eight assists; Leonardo Barbosa added 15 points, and Marion had 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Barbosa scored the last five points of Phoenix's late 12-0 run, cutting the Clippers' lead to 106-105 with 1:12 to go. At that stage, the Clippers' big two made the two biggest plays of the game.

"Emotionally, it was a big game for us," Dunleavy said. "We didn't want to go down 3-1. Now, it's a three-game series. We have to win one in Phoenix."

Even without the 7-foot Kaman, the Clippers dominated the backboards, outrebounding the Suns 55-37.

Los Angeles outrebounded Phoenix 57-26 in winning Game 2, but just 47-46 in losing Game 3.

The Clippers shot 48.8 percent to the Suns' 45.5 percent. Phoenix committed only five turnovers to nine for Los Angeles.

Radmanovic started in Kaman's place, and Maggette replaced Quinton Ross, giving the Clippers additional scoring punch.

The Maggette-for-Ross move paid big dividends in the first half, when Maggette had 16 points and eight rebounds to spark the Clippers to a 61-51 lead.

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