|Struggling Heat without O'Neal, Wade in '06 title rematch vs. Mavs|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 04 January 2008 18:29|
Shaquille O'Neal and Dwyane Wade both missed Miami's game in Dallas on Friday night, leaving the Heat without the key players from the team that beat the Mavericks for the title two seasons ago.
O'Neal, whose career average of 29 points per game against Dallas is his best against any team, missed his fourth straight game because of bursitis in his left hip.
Wade, who had not missed a game since making his season debut Nov. 14, got a night off because of an accumulation of injuries, including his right pinkie and right shoulder.
Dallas was without starting center Erick Dampier, who has a sore left knee. Dampier scored more than 10 points in each of his last two games after having done so only once all season.
The Heat lost in Dallas last season in their first visit since the finals, running their regular-season losing streak in Dallas to six straight.
But Miami came in with a lot bigger problems. The Heat were 8-24 - their .250 winning percentage lowest in the East and second-worst in the NBA - and were starting a five-game road trip.
``We've got to hang together during this tough time for us,'' coach Pat Riley said before tipoff. ``This can be real hard if you aren't together. And these (injuries) are the kinds of things that make it hard to hang together.''
Mark Blount started in place of O'Neal. Daequan Cook started for Wade.