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Marion's 24 points help Heat end skid, topple Kings

Feb 27, 2008 - 4:17 AM MIAMI (Ticker) -- Shawn Marion helped the Miami Heat end a month's worth of losing.

Marion scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Heat crushed the Sacramento Kings, 107-86, on Tuesday.

Udonis Haslem had 17 points and seven rebounds and Dwyane Wade had 15 and nine assists for the Heat, who ended an 11-game losing streak.

"I knew we have had it in us to win," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "I don't know where it's been, but tonight we played extremely well."

Miami, which won its last game on January 26, has won eight straight vs. the Kings, including six in a row at American Airlines Arena. The victory was just the second in 28 games for the Heat, who also won for just the 10th time in 54 contests.

"Ending the losing streak was great," Wade said. "We have been playing so well since Shawn and Marcus (Banks) got here that we've been hungry for a win for those guys. Now, we've got it and can move on."

Leading, 58-52, at the break, Miami broke the game open in the third quarter.

Using tough defense, the Heat held the Kings without a field goal on their first 13 attempts before Sacramento finally made a basket with 2:36 left in the period.

"That was probably about the worst we played all year," Kings coach Reggie Theus said. "Guys were not focused on what they were trying to do and didn't prioritize the game. It was just a bad effort on our part."

Marion, who connected on 10-of-14 from the floor, helped Miami race to its first double-digit advantage when he scored six points in an 8-2 spurt to make it 66-54 in the first 1:57 of the third.

"We came out very aggressive in the third quarter on both ends," Marion said. "There was a stretch in that first five minutes where we decided that we were going to win tonight."

It was the third time in six games Marion has scored 20-plus points for the Heat since coming over from the Phoenix Suns in a trade for Shaquille O'Neal.

"Shawn adapted very well to the small forward spot," Riley said. "He's a multi-faceted player who can get points in a lot of different ways."

After Ron Artest made a pair of foul shots to cut Sacramento's deficit to 10 with 9:32 left, Miami went on a season-best 17-0 run capped by Wade's three-point play to make it 83-56 with 2:51 remaining in the period.

A 22-foot jumper by Quincy Douby finally ended a drought of 6:56 for the Kings, who made just 2-of-20 shots in the third. The two field goals tied an opponents' low against Miami.

Jason Williams had 10 points and nine assists and Mark Blount scored 14 for the Heat, who shot 52 percent (39-of-75) and saw all five starters score in double figures. It was Miami's largest margin of victory this season.

Rookie Spencer Hawes scored a season-high 16 points off the bench for Sacramento, which shot 42 percent (32-of-76).

"I thought Spencer played very well tonight," Theus said. "I thought he was really the only one that showed up to play."

Artest and Kevin Martin each scored 14 for the Kings, who are just 3-17 all-time vs. the Heat.

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