Tue, Jan 03, 2012 - Page 20 News List

NBA:Heat scorch the Bobcats to improve to 5-0

Reuters and AP, Los Angeles

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade, second right, goes up for a basket as Charlotte Bobcats guard Gerald Henderson, right, defends in the first half of their NBA game in Miami, Florida, on Sunday.

Photo: Reuters

The Miami Heat mauled the Charlotte Bobcats in a 129-90 blowout on Sunday to improve to a franchise-best 5-0 start to the season.

Needing a pair of Dwyane Wade last-second game-winners to defeat Charlotte and Minnesota in back-to-back games last week, the Heat buried the Bobcats early in the rematch.

“We came into the game with a very heightened sense of having the ability to concentrate,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “It speaks to our guys’ professionalism.”

Talent-loaded Miami built a 28-point lead by halftime to effectively kill the game as a contest in front of their home crowd.

Chris Bosh led the way with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Wade added 22 as Miami continued their impressive start to the season.

Beaten by the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals last June, the Heat have exploded from the blocks at the start of a compressed 66-game campaign.

Their 129 points were an NBA-high for the fledgling season, sharing the wealth among their big-name players and compiling 33 assists for the game.

LeBron James, who entered the contest averaging 33 points per game, played just 28 minutes and chipped in 16 points, nine rebounds and five assists.

D.J. White had a team-high 21 points for the Bobcats (1-3), who suffered their third straight loss and their second to the Heat in four days.

Charlotte were powerless as the Heat scored the first six points of the game and breezed to an early 17-4 advantage in the first period.

It only went downhill from there for the Bobcats, who shot just 38 percent from the field.

“That was a high-school team in a professional game,” said Charlotte forward Corey Maggette, who finished with two points and missed all six of his shots from the field.

Bosh controlled the early going in the paint, scoring 20 first-half points, although plenty of Miami players got in on the action.

Rookie point guard Norris Cole finished with 16 points and nine assists, while the team shot 60 percent from the floor in a dominating display that sent a message to the whole league.

MAGIC 102, RAPTORS 96

In Orlando, Florida, Ryan Anderson scored 24 points and led a fourth-quarter rally as the Orlando Magic beat Toronto.

The Magic trailed by as many as 16 points, but went on a 16-0 run in the final period. Orlando shot four-for-five on three-pointers during the burst, with Anderson making two of them, as the Magic took a 94-88 lead with 3 minutes, 5 seconds left.

Dwight Howard had 19 points and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who have won four straight since a season-opening loss to Oklahoma City. J.J. Redick added 21 points, while Hedo Turkoglu had 15 points and seven assists.

Andrea Bargnani paced the Raptors with 28 points, while Jose Calderon had 18 points and 13 assists.

CELTICS 94, WIZARDS 86

In Washington, Rajon Rondo had 18 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds, while Kevin Garnett had 24 points and nine rebounds to lead Boston over the winless Wizards.

The victory was the Celtics’ second straight after losing their first three. Washington are 0-4.

John Wall, who was 10-for-37 from the field in Washington’s first three games, was six-for-13. He had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds.

JaVale McGee had 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Wizards. Nick Young had 18.

CAVALIERS 98, NETS 82

In Cleveland, Ohio, Antawn Jamison scored 23 points and the Cavaliers made 16 three-pointers in a win over New Jersey.

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