Shaq's return helps Heat to win vs. Nets

Posted: Friday, March 04, 2005

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Shaquille O'Neal returned from a three-game absence and had 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade led a third-quarter surge that sent the Miami Heat past the New Jersey Nets 106-90 Thursday night.

Wade had 27 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Heat, who ended New Jersey's three-game winning streak.

Nuggets 96, Pacers 87

DENVER — Marcus Camby finished with 17 points, 22 rebounds, seven assists and seven blocked shots, and Carmelo Anthony had 28 points, helping Denver to its fifth straight win.

The Nuggets had 27 assists on 31 field goals and improved to 12-4 since coach George Karl took over on Jan. 27, and moved into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Denver has won seven straight at home — 6-0 under Karl — and has its longest win streak since taking five in a row in December 2003.

Stephen Jackson led the Pacers with 16 points.

Suns 100, Pistons 97

PHOENIX — Steve Nash returned to the Phoenix lineup with 16 points and 14 assists — including a crucial 3-pointer with 1:06 to play — and the Suns snapped the Pistons' eight-game winning streak.

Amare Stoudemire battled the Pistons' bruising front line for 26 points and 10 rebounds. Quentin Richardson scored 20, including 5-of-8 on 3-pointers.

Rasheed Wallace led Detroit with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Ben Wallace had 18 boards. Antonio McDyess scored 14, all in the second half.

With the Suns leading 95-94 after Chauncey Billups' layup with 1:20 to go, Nash, who missed three games with a sore hamstring, made the 3-pointer to boost the lead to 98-94, and then his two free throws increased the lead to 100-94 with 37.4 seconds left.

Rasheed Wallace sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key to make it 100-97 with 30.5 seconds left, and Shawn Marion missed from 3-point range to give Detroit a chance to tie it. After a timeout with 3.2 seconds to go, Billups' 25-footer was off the front of the rim at the buzzer.

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