ORLANDO, Fla. — The Miami Heat's miserable start has hit another low.
Dwight Howard had 24 points and 18 rebounds, J.J. Redick scored 20 points and the Orlando Magic beat Miami 104-95 on Wednesday night to hand the Heat's All-Star trio its first three-game losing streak.
Jameer Nelson had 17 points and a career-high 14 assists, coming up with some big shots late to help Orlando pull away and avenge a 26-point loss at Miami earlier this season.
LeBron James had 25 points, Chris Bosh finished with 21 and Dwyane Wade scored 18 for Miami in the latest blow to the collection of stars who came together this summer hoping for a championship. Miami also lost to Memphis and Indiana in the last week.
But the loss to its Sunshine State rival might sting most.
The Heat's disappointing 8-7 start has fueled fodder for the Heat's critics.
And Miami's struggles certainly delight its neighbor to the north.
On one stretch late in the fourth quarter, Nelson made back-to-back shots and then came up with one of his best defensive plays of the year. With James and Wade on a 2-on-1 break, Nelson jumped up and swatted James' alley-oop pass to Wade, Nelson drove back down and found Redick for a jumper that put Orlando ahead 95-89.
CELTICS 89, NETS 83: At Boston, Shaquille O'Neal scored a season-high 25 points, even hitting four straight free throws in the fourth quarter as Boston came back to beat New Jersey. Paul Pierce scored 18 and Ray Allen had 15 points and seven assists for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who have won consecutive games after losing two straight for the first time all season. O'Neal matched his season high with 11 rebounds for his second straight double-double. He went 9 for 10 from the floor and 7 for 13 from the line as the Nets resorted to Hack-a-Shaq to get back into the game. Devin Harris scored 20 for the Nets, hitting back-to-back baskets in the final 2 minutes to help New Jersey cut the deficit to 82-78.
KNICKS 99, BOBCATS 95: At Charlotte, N.C., Raymond Felton had 23 points and 13 assists against his former team, Amare Stoudemire added 20 points and six blocks, and New York beat Charlotte for its fifth straight win. With New York leading by two, Felton ripped a rebound away from Tyrus Thomas. Danilo Gallinari then hit the clinching free throws with 5 seconds left for the Knicks, who reached .500 and secured their longest winning streak since the 2005-06 season. Thomas had 26 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which cut a 14-point deficit to one in the closing seconds. But Stephen Jackson's driving layup was blocked by Stoudemire before Landry Fields hit one free throw.
MAVERICKS 111, THUNDER 103: Oklahoma City, Dirk Nowitzki scored 34 points, Tyson Chandler had season highs with 17 points and 18 rebounds, and Dallas charged past Oklahoma City in the fourth quarter. Nowitzki and Jason Terry teamed to score 10 straight points in a 57-second span to put Dallas up for good midway through the final period, and the Mavericks sealed it with a 12-0 run. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 32 points but was held in check in the fourth before two dunks with the game out of reach in the final minute. Jeff Green added 17 points, and Russell Westbrook had 13 points and 10 assists for the Thunde.
CAVALIERS 83, BUCKS 81: At Cleveland, Mo Williams dropped a 15-foot jumper over Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings as time expired as Cleveland snapped a three-game losing streak. Williams, who finished with 25 points, drove left before pulling up and hitting his step-back jumper as the horn sounded. Williams ran and jumped up on the scorer's table to celebrate hitting a game-winning shot against his former team. However, before it was official, the play had to be reviewed by the referees, who ruled Williams got the shot off in time. Williams scored 21 points in the second half. Anthony Parker added 14 and Anderson Varejao had 13 rebounds for Cleveland.
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