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Wade, James lead Heat past Magic, 90-78

By Tim Reynolds

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Feb. 19 2012 4:10 p.m. MST

Miami Heat forward LeBron James, left, drives on Orlando Magic forward Hedo Turkoglu, right, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, in Miami.

Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

MIAMI — Dwyane Wade scored 27 points, LeBron James had 25 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and the NBA-leading Miami Heat beat the Orlando Magic 90-78 on Sunday for their sixth consecutive victory.

With former President Bill Clinton sitting courtside next to Heat managing general partner Micky Arison, Udonis Haslem scored 10 for the Heat, who improved to 25-7, a half-game better than Chicago for the best record in the NBA and the Eastern Conference. The 12-point final margin Sunday was Miami's smallest during its current winning streak.

Wade made 13 of 23 shots from the floor, shooting 50 percent or better for the 10th straight game.

J.J. Redick, who was a late addition to the Orlando starting lineup after Jason Richardson was scratched with chest pain, scored 17 points. Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds and Glen Davis — back in the Magic lineup after a one-game absence to attend his father's funeral — scored 12.

Quentin Richardson added 10 for Orlando, which made 11 shots from 3-point range. The Magic had been 12-1 when connecting on at least that many this season.

Clinton stayed until the end, even posing for a quick photo with game officials Bill Kennedy, Mark Lindsay and Rodney Mott shortly after the final buzzer.

The six-game winning streak is a season best for Miami. Orlando lost for just the third time in its last 11 games.

Fueled by Wade scoring 12 points in the first seven minutes, Miami ran out to a 22-11 lead, the second straight game where the Magic faced a double-digit deficit in the opening quarter.

Just as they did two days earlier against Milwaukee, Orlando rallied. The Magic scored the next 13 points, 3-pointers from Redick and Quentin Richardson getting things started. A 3-pointer from Ryan Anderson with 8:57 left in the half gave Orlando what was then its biggest lead at 27-24.

Good thing the Magic had that run. The rest of the half was downright abysmal.

Orlando went more than seven minutes without a point, and wound up missing 11 straight shots and 14 of 15 in one stretch. Howard only had six shots in the first half, the Magic finished with just 12 points in the second quarter, and Miami took a 43-31 lead into intermission.

The Magic seemed to be in position to make a run in the third quarter, even with Wade and James combining for 16 points in the period. Davis' steal and layup with 1:44 left got Orlando within nine.

But the Heat had a quick and decisive answer.

Mario Chalmers made two free throws, Shane Battier hit a 3-pointer — Miami's third attempted 3 on that possession — and Udonis Haslem hit a jumper from the right corner with 1.8 seconds left to send Miami into the fourth with a 70-54 edge.

Chris Bosh's jumper early in the fourth game gave Miami a 20-point lead, and the margin was not seriously threatened again, even though the Heat went nearly four minutes without scoring. Haslem missed a foul-line jumper, three Magic players were unable to corral the rebound, which Wade picked up and dunked with two hands for an 84-66 lead with 3:58 left.

James then sealed it with a turnaround jumper and transition dunk 13 seconds apart.

NOTES: It was Heat swingman Mike Miller's 32nd birthday. ... The Heat stat crew got a first-half scare, when Davis — listed at 289 pounds — went airborne over the scorers' table. No one was injured, and Davis used the table as a springboard to get back onto the playing surface. ... Clinton got his hands on a deflected ball that bounded over a courtside table in the second quarter, James landed on a pair of young kids sitting courtside in the third, and Wade tumbled atop a baseline cameraman in the fourth. ... Wade left the game in the first quarter to get his left ankle re-taped. ... Grammy winner Chris Brown was in the crowd, as were Miami Marlins players Emilio Bonifacio, Heath Bell and Josh Johnson. Bonifacio took "batting practice" using plastic balls and bats from Heat mascot Burnie during a timeout.

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