Originally created 04/28/97

Miami turns up heat to rout Magic again



MIAMI - Tim Hardaway's shot rimmed out at the halftime buzzer, and he cursed, shook his head and slapped the press table as he walked off. You never would have known his team was ahead by 25.

Hardaway's outburst showed something - this Miami Heat team isn't letting up.

The Heat didn't back off Sunday, routing the Orlando Magic 104-87 in an impressive encore to their 35-point blowout in Game 1.

And judging from the postgame mood, no dropoff should be expected Tuesday night in Game 3 of the best-of-5 series.

"They're not dead until we put them in the grave," Heat forward Dan Majerle said.

Hardaway had 20 points and 11 assists, P.J. Brown and Alonzo Mourning scored 17 each and Majerle came off the bench to score 14 for the Heat, whose second-quarter onslaught made this one a lopsided affair by intermission.

"They were huffing and puffing," Hardaway said, "and we were just revving up."

Miami, which has never advanced to the second round of the playoffs, had a dominant first quarter in Game 1 and opened a 38-10 lead en route to a 99-64 victory. The Magic pledged to be more physical in Game 2, but that approach worked for only one quarter.

A 22-3 run at the start of the second period gave the Heat a 42-21 lead. They outscored Orlando 36-13 in the quarter, hitting 13 of 19 shots, and led 56-31 at halftime.

The margin reached 32 points in the third period.

"Once again we got ahead 15 or 16 points, we just kept trying to put the pressure on," Miami coach Pat Riley said.

What will the Magic do Tuesday?

"We're going to start throwing punches," coach Richie Adubato said.

He was joking - sort of.

"They knocked us down very hard four or five times going to the basket," Adubato said. "In the playoffs there's a rule you don't go to the basket for layups."

At least that seemed to be the rule the Heat were following. The Magic, meanwhile, let Miami score 42 points in the paint, many on layups.

Riley, whose teams have always followed his no-layup rule, applauded his team's suffocating defense.

"We're playing the game extremely hard and trying to play their perimeter players close to the vest," Riley said. "You have to have a physical presence in this game. If you're physical and aggressive, you can at times impose your will on teams."

Offensive balance allowed Miami to hurt Orlando inside, from the perimeter and in transition. The Heat shot 53 percent and sank nine of 23 3-pointers. They converted 16 Magic turnovers into 24 points.

"By controlling the tempo, we pretty much controlled our fate," Mourning said.

Magic guard Penny Hardaway compared the Heat to the Orlando team that reached the NBA Finals in 1995 with Shaquille O'Neal. Hardaway scored 26 points.

"I can't do it by myself," he said. "They're too good for me to do that. The supporting cast has to come through for me, and I have to do my job."

Derek Strong had 18 points and 16 rebounds, but Rony Seikaly added just 10 points and four rebounds. Seikaly, who averaged 17.3 points during the regular season, has a total of just 17 points in two playoff games.

"The series is never over until the fat lady sings," Seikaly said. "If you are going to go down, you have to go down with a fight."

Orlando again played without forward Horace Grant, sidelined because of a sprained right wrist. Sore knees slowed Dennis Scott, and Nick Anderson's playing time was limited by a hand injury suffered in the third quarter.

The Magic took their first lead of the series at 11-9. Strong's basket made the score 18-all, but the Magic managed just one field goal in the next six minutes.

Their comeback chances are slim. Teams have overcome a 2-0 deficit in a best-of-5 series just five times. The most recent was Denver against Seattle in 1994.

Notes: The Magic have lost five consecutive games, including the final three of the regular season. ... The Magic made one change in their starting lineup, with Scott replaced by Brian Shaw. Scott came off the bench only four times during the regular season. .. Brown received the J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award at halftime. The league honor was in recognition of Brown's charity work. ... The Magic have been swept every time they've lost the first game in a playoff series. ... All 12 Heat players have scored in the series.