The first game of this doubleheader was the Magic hosting the Heat in a battle of division-rival, Florida teams. Miami held a lead early, but the Magic were able to recover without much damage done, on pace for a 96-80 win. Orlando won it's 40th game of the season (40-20) while Miami dropped to 29-31. Orlando defeated Miami in a game in which Dwight "Superman" Howard was pretty much invisible, scoring only 7 points and 5 rebounds, battling with foul trouble the whole night. Dwyane Wade, Jermaine O'Neal, and Rafer Alston (21, 16, 15) scored 52 of the 80 Miami points. (65%) The next game was much more exciting. Especially when you saw your team, the Dallas Mavericks, score 35 in the first quarter, 34 in the second, en route to a 69-50 halftime lead over the Hornets. Dallas would only score 39 in the second half, though. The Hornets, after trailing by as many as 25, made it a game, once bringing the score to 101-97. But Dirk was clutch, scoring 14 of his game-high 36 points in the fourth quarter as Dallas won it's seventh straight game, improving to 39-21. Darren Collison, the rookie, scored 35 points in place of the injured Chris Paul, showing off a very impressive performance. Wasn't enough, though, as New Orleans dropped to 31-29.
After two big ABC games, a devastating Nets loss and a bunch of college games, I turned New Orleans/Dallas off about halfway through the third. I assumed it was over, and it was, but the Hornets actually made it a game only losing by 8. They are fighting right now, but I just do not think they will make the playoffs this year.
Earlier the Civil War game between the Heat and Magic delivered, but Orlando got the big win at home. Dwyane Wade really needs help and you have to wonder why the Heat did not make a move at the trade deadline. San Antonio would love to dump Michael Finley, and he is someone who, despite his age, could have helped the Heat make a late season run.
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