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Heat now tops in East
Mashburn, Majerle, Mourning lead Miami over Cleveland
Posted: Wednesday April 21, 1999 11:38 PM
Majerle hit 4-of-6 3 pointers and scored 14 points as the Heat defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 93-80 on Wednesday night. In Monday's win over the Cavs, Majerle was 5-of-7 on 3-pointers and had a season-high 22 points.
"I've been in a shooting slump all year," said Majerle, who became the 10th NBA player to hit 1,100 3-pointers. "It's nice to snap back."
Jamal Mashburn scored 19 points and Alonzo Mourning had 18 points with 11 rebounds to help Miami (28-13) gain a share of first place in the Atlantic Division and retain the overall best conference record.
Shawn Kemp, who had a season-best 32 points in Monday's 94-87 loss to Miami, left early in the third quarter with a sprained left foot. He finished with 10 points in 25 minutes.
Kemp, who has been bothered by a sore right elbow, will miss Friday's game against Milwaukee. Cleveland (21-21) is fighting for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
Danny Ferry and Ryan Stack scored 11 points each to lead Cleveland, which cut a 25-point deficit to 75-64 early in the fourth quarter on a 3-pointer by Ferry. But a 3-pointer by Voshon Lenard and two jumpers by Clarence Weatherspoon boosted the Heat's advantage to 84-68 with 5:08 to play.
Majerle, making just 31.7 percent on 3's this season, hit a 3-pointer to end Cleveland's comeback hopes and send the Cavs to their third straight loss.
"They are undermanned right now with guys banged up," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "We took advantage of that. We needed the win and got the win, but got a little bit raggedy in the fourth quarter."
Mashburn scored five points and Majerle hit a 3-pointer to key a 17-6 burst and pad Miami's 16-point halftime lead to 68-43 with 4:18 left in the third quarter.
Mitchell Butler scored six points of Cleveland's 11-4 run to cut the deficit to 72-54 heading into the fourth quarter.
Mashburn and Mourning scored 10 points apiece to pace the Heat to a 49-33 lead at halftime.
"It feels good because it gives us another threat," Tim Hardaway said of Majerle. "Then I can go to the hole and kick it out to Dan or I can score."
Miami is tied with the Magic (29-14) for first place, with the rivals set to play Wednesday in Orlando.
"This is the biggest game of the year so far," P.J. Brown said. "I'm going to play my heart out. It's going to have a playoff atmosphere."
Notes: Mourning, the NBA's leader in blocked shots, had three Wednesday, marking the 13th straight game he's had at least three blocks. ... Miami held the Cavs to a Heat-opponent-tying low of 11 first-half rebounds, including one defensive rebound in the first quarter (matching another team record). ...Miami plays the Cavs for the third time in eight days next Monday. ... The Heat has downed the Cavs in 11 of their last 12 meetings.
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