Heat Held to 19 Points in Half
The Orlando Magic, in winning its fourth game in a row Sunday, equaled an NBA record for fewest points allowed in a half by holding the Miami Heat to 19 in the second half of a 94-69 victory.
This was supposed to be a rebuilding season, one in which the losses would far outnumber the wins. But with a little more than three weeks left in the regular season, the Magic (35-36) has the eighth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
The Heat made only five of 34 shots in being held to 12 points in the third quarter and seven in the fourth.
Miami Coach Pat Riley emptied his bench with a little more that four minutes left and the Heat got its first field goal of the fourth quarter with 2:19 left.
The 19 points scored by the Heat set an NBA record for fewest points for a second half and tied the mark for the lowest in any half, set this season by the Clippers during a 95-68 loss to the Lakers on Dec. 14.
“That is the roughest second half I have ever seen,” said Miami guard Tim Hardaway, in his 11th season. “My mama said there would be days like this. She wasn’t kidding. That was a doozy.”
Miami shot 55% and led, 50-49, at halftime, then missed 14 of their first 15 shots in the third quarter. They missed their first 11 shots in the fourth quarter and trailed, 90-64, before getting the first of only two field goals they made down the stretch.
The loss was the Heat’s third in four games.
“This is probably the worst second half that I have ever coached,” Riley said.
Philadelphia 111, Indiana 101--Allen Iverson scored 33 points and Toni Kukoc had the second triple-double of his seven-year career to help the 76ers extend their winning streak to six games while snapping a 12-game losing streak at Indianapolis.
The 76ers shot 55% in the first half and had their biggest lead, 51-31, with 7:11 left in the second quarter. The Pacers trailed, 62-45, at halftime, and fell behind by 26 in the third quarter.
Houston 123, Chicago 78--The loss was the worst of the season for the Bulls, who have lost nine of 10 and 17 of 19.
Walt Williams scored 14 of his 24 points in the third quarter, when Houston scored 42 and led by as many as 49. The 42 points was the Rockets’ season high for a quarter.
Milwaukee 99, Boston 84--Ray Allen scored 27 points at Milwaukee to help the Bucks remain 1 1/2 games behind Orlando for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Glenn Robinson’s basket capped a 12-1 run midway through the third quarter and gave Milwaukee its biggest lead at 73-54 with 3:23 left.
Minnesota 106, Toronto 101--The Timberwolves clinched a playoff berth by beating the Raptors in overtime at Minneapolis.
Kevin Garnett scored 38 points for Minnesota, which extended its winning streak to six.
Vince Carter, named to replace injured Tom Gugliotta of Phoenix on the U.S. Olympic team, had 38 points for the Raptors.
New York 93, Portland 89--The Knicks, who nearly blew a 17-point lead at Portland, moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic Division with Miami.
The Trail Blazers pulled within 91-89 on a three-point shot by Scottie Pippen with 8.8 seconds left, but Latrell Sprewell made two free throws 1.2 seconds later to preserve the win.
Denver 112, New Jersey 110--Chris Gatling made an off-balance shot with less than a second left as the Nuggets rallied from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to snap a four-game losing streak as well as a nine-game skid on the road.
Phoenix 90, Golden State 82--The Suns nearly blew a 25-point lead--scoring only 27 points in the second half at Phoenix--before pulling out their sixth win in seven games. Penny Hardaway had 33 points for the Suns, 27 in the first half when Phoenix took a 63-40 lead.