O’Neal and Jones led the Lakers to a 117-47 record from 1996-98 but could not get the team past Utah in the Western Conference playoffs, losing in the second round in 1997 before being swept out of the West finals by the Jazz in 1998.
Jones was eventually traded to the Charlotte Hornets in March 1999, and O’Neal went on to bring the Lakers three straight titles with Kobe Bryant taking over for Jones at shooting guard.
Going into Wednesday’s contest at Milwaukee, O’Neal had a positive pregame talk with Jones, who had averaged just 7.4 points in his previous five games.
“I told him I needed him, I needed him to step up,” O’Neal said. “And, he did that for me.”
Jones responded with a season-high 27 points while O’Neal added a season-best 26 in a 113-106 win over the Bucks.
Shaq said he took a softer approach with Jones than he did in Los Angeles, and it helped the Heat improve to a franchise-best 6-0 against the East.
“I didn’t want to jump down Eddie’s throat like I did when both of us played for the Lakers,” he said. “So, I tried a different approach this time. The approach that I took worked. It was a more cool, calm, collected approach.”
O’Neal missed his first two shots from the field but made all nine of his attempts after that. He added seven rebounds and six assists, and the Heat shot a season-high 58.7 percent from the field as they bounced back from Tuesday’s 108-97 loss at Minnesota.
Dwyane Wade added 18 points, failing to reach 20 for the first time in seven games this season, and handed out seven assists.
Miami also faces Philadelphia and Portland on the homestand.
The Jazz could not contain a resurgent Grant Hill on Wednesday and fell to 1-1 on a four-game road trip with a 107-92 loss to Orlando.
Utah came in shooting 51 percent from the field but shot just 40 percent (33-for-82) while Hill scored 32 points to post his best game in 4 1/2 years.
Carlos Boozer was the only Jazz player to have an impact, scoring 27 points on 12-for-22 shooting after finishing with a season-high 34 in Tuesday’s 107-105 win over Charlotte.
Playing on consecutive nights, the Jazz had more turnovers (nine) than field goals (eight) in the fourth quarter and were outscored 31-12 to finish the game. They also missed all eight of their 3-point attempts in the game.
“Anybody can play this game defensively for the first 3 1/2 quarters,” said Jazz coach Jerry Sloan. “But when you get down the stretch, that’s where you break down.”
The Jazz close their road trip at Atlanta on Saturday.