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Heat look to extend season-high winning streak to 10

Mar 18, 2007 - 1:44 PM Orlando (30-37) at Miami (36-29) 6:00 pm EDT

MIAMI (Ticker) -- Shaquille O'Neal and the Miami Heat are getting hot at just the right time.

O'Neal and the Heat look to extend their season-high winning streak to 10 games and continue to move up the Eastern Conference standings when they face the struggling Orlando Magic on Sunday.

Miami posted a 103-97 victory over Sacramento on Friday. One more win and the Heat would match their longest winning streak from their NBA title run last season. Miami reeled off 10 in a row from February 12-March 8, 2006.

O'Neal scored 23 points, Jason Williams had 19 and James Posey added 16 and 11 rebounds for Miami, which is one-half game behind idle Washington (36-28) for first place in the Southeast Division.

Miami is in sixth place in the Eastern Conference - 1 1/2 games behind fifth-place Chicago.

The Heat have used stellar play at home to climb the standings, posting 14 straight wins at American Airlines Arena since a 99-93 loss to New York on February 26. It is their longest winning streak on their home floor since reeling off 18 in a row from January 23-April 5, 2005.

Miami now is 10-2 without superstar Dwyane Wade, who is out at least another month with a dislocated shoulder.

The Heat will look to keep it going against the Magic, who continued their free-fall in the Eastern Conference standings by scoring just 31 points in the second half of a 95-83 loss to the Kings on Saturday.

Orlando showed its inconsistency with Wednesday's 101-90 win over Utah, one of the top teams in the NBA. But they could not build on that, reverting to sloppy, uninspired play that has seen it lose 11 of 13 games.

With the loss, the Magic are one-half game behind New Jersey (30-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Miami was held to its second-lowest point total of the season in a 97-68 loss to Orlando on December 30.

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