|Despite scoring 50 points, Dwyane Wade and his Heat teammates couldn't stop the Magic from running them off the court. (PHELAN M. EBENHACK/Associated Press)|
Wade tallies 50, but Magic win
Alston keeps Orlando running
Dwight Howard had 32 points and 17 rebounds, and the Magic withstood a career-high 50 points by Dwyane Wade to rout the Miami Heat, 122-99, last night in Orlando, Fla.
Hedo Turkoglu had 20 points and Rafer Alston added 12 points and nine assists for the Magic, who have won 12 of the past 15 games against their Sunshine State rival.
Wade was potent from inside and out, scoring with high-flying dunks and soaring jumpers that had some Magic fans chanting "M-V-P!" Miami's do-it-all guard had previously scored 48 twice in his career, and had 43 points two times earlier this season.
Wade hit a pair of 3-pointers in an 11-4 Heat run to start the third quarter, closing the gap to 68-57. But the Magic would come back with a series of 3s to go ahead, 91-72, at the end of the period, offsetting Wade's performance.
The Heat never got close in the fourth, and Miami coach Erik Spoelstra cleared most of the bench midway through the period - except for Wade, who was left in until his shot over Courtney Lee gave him 50 points.
But it was the Magic's newest player that made the biggest difference.
Alston, acquired from Houston last Friday, has taken the ballhandling responsibilities off Orlando's free-shooting perimeter players. The speedy guard has allowed the Magic to return to their usual rotation and play the up-tempo, pick-and-roll style game that had them looking like real title contenders before All-Star point guard Jameer Nelson tore the labrum in his right shoulder Feb. 2.
Cavaliers 99, Pistons 78 - Delonte West scored 25 points in his first game since mid-January and LeBron James added 20 as host Cleveland dominated slumping Detroit.
West, a former Celtic sidelined since Jan. 15 with a fractured right wrist, was 8 of 11 from the field and made all five of his 3-point attempts. He scored 13 points in the first quarter when the Cavaliers put the game away. The Pistons have lost six straight for the first time since February 2004, and fell to 27-27.
Bucks 120, Nuggets 117 - Charlie Villanueva scored 9 of his season-high 36 points in the fourth quarter to help host Milwaukee hold off Denver.
Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points and Chauncey Billups added 21 for the Nuggets. Denver plays its first game at home since Feb. 3 tonight against the Celtics.
Raptors 111, Knicks 100 - Andrea Bargnani had 28 points and 10 rebounds and Anthony Parker chipped in 24 points to help host Toronto beat New York, two days after absorbing a 30-point loss against the Knicks.
Each of Toronto's starters reached double figures. Shawn Marion had 16 points and 15 rebounds, and Chris Bosh added 11 points and 12 boards. Jose Calderon had 13 points and 11 assists.
Trail Blazers 116, Clippers 87 - Steve Blake tied an NBA mark with 14 first-quarter assists and LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 points as host Portland rolled over Los Angeles. Blake matched the record set by San Antonio's John Lucas during the second quarter against Denver on April 15, 1984. Blake finished with 17 assists.
Lakers 111, Timberwolves 108 - Kobe Bryant scored 28 points to move past Elgin Baylor into 20th place on the NBA's career scoring list and visiting Los Angeles outlasted Minnesota.
Pacers 98, Bulls 91 - Troy Murphy had a season-high 27 points and host Indiana, still without its two injured scoring leaders, Danny Granger and Mike Dunleavy, survived a second-half stretch of 11 minutes without a field goal to beat Chicago.
Rockets 99, Bobcats 78 - Ron Artest scored 26 points, Yao Ming added 19 points and seven rebounds, and Houston continued to win without Tracy McGrady, beating visiting Charlotte.