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Suns reclaim top after Bobcats cool Heat
Updated: 2005-03-28 10:09

Just when the Miami Heat looked ready to seize command in the league, NBA's second-worst team snapped Shaquille O'Neal and company back to reality.

Charlotte Bobcats' Primoz Brezec of Slovenia reacts after the Bobcats defeated the Miami Heat 94-92 in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, March 26, 2005. Brezec had a career-high 27 points. [AP]
Slovenian center Primoz Brezec scored 12 of his career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed 11 rebounds to help the first-year Charlotte Bobcats defeat Miami 94-92 here Saturday, dropping the Heat from first overall.

The Phoenix Suns, who lost at Miami one night earlier to surrender the NBA's best record to the Heat, reclaimed the honor with a 118-116 victory at Orlando. The Suns are 52-17 while the Heat slid to 53-18 and San Antonio is 51-18.

Shaquille O'Neal had 26 points and 16 rebounds, Dwayne Wade scored 19 points and Eddie Jones added 16 for the Heat, who have lost two of three games since a 12-game win streak.

The Bobcats never trailed in the fourth quarter, but the game came down to Wade missing a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

Miami trailed 94-91 when Wade was fouled by Jason Hart with four seconds remaining. After making the first free throw, the All-Star guard intentionally missed the second and gathered the rebound.

Disdaining a short jump shot that could have forced over-time, Wade rushed back to the 3-point arc and missed the game winner at the buzzer.

The loss was Miami's first in 14 Southeast Division games and kept the Heat from becoming the first NBA club to go unbeaten against every team in its division. Adding the Bobcats mandated realignment that shrank divisions to the smallest level in decades.

At Orlando, Canadian guard Steve Nash scored 23 points and passed out 12 assists to spark Phoenix to victory. Shawn Marion had 27 points and 14 rebounds and Joe Johnson scored 26 points for the Suns.

Nash scored 10 points in the fourth quarter, including two free throws for a 112-104 lead with 4:28 left. The Suns nursed the lead to the end, escaping only when Orlando rookie Jameer Nelson missed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Grant Hill scored 26 points for the Magic, who slid to 32-37 with a 10th loss in 11 games. Orlando fell 2 1/2 games behind Philadelphia in a fight for the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando star guard Steve Francis came off a three-game suspension for kicking a cameraman, producing 17 points and nine assists but hitting only 5-of-17 shots and committing six turnovers.

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