O’Neal scored 33 and Wade had 30 to lead the Heat to their 12th straight win, a 97-82 victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
“It says a lot about our chemistry,” Wade said. “We both told each other we needed each other tonight.”
Miami also won its 15 straight at home and swept the four-game season series with New York for the first time in franchise history.
Wade decided a Heat victory at New York last Tuesday with a shot at buzzer, but he and O’Neal never let the Knicks get that close in this one while becoming the first Miami teammates to each score 30 points or better in the same game since Glen Rice and Khalid Reeves did in 1995 against Philadelphia.
“Dwyane and Shaq were obviously fantastic,” Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Tonight, they just rose above everybody.”
Miami, which has won 19 of 21, never trailed after a late first quarter run and built the lead to double figures in the second quarter.
“They came out very energetic, very psyched,” Wade said. “We just kept playing our game, got our lead and went from there.”
O’Neal’s presence inside, enabled Miami to outscore New York 58-30 in the paint. O’Neal also finished with 17 rebounds.
“They’re two different teams with Shaq on the floor and without Shaq on the floor,” Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said. “They still have Wade but Shaq takes them to the next level.”
The Knicks cut a 17-point halftime deficit with a 14-4 spurt to start the second half.
Wade stopped the run with an acrobatic three-point play, when he drove deep in the lane, bumped into Kurt Thomas and converted on a shot with his back to the basket. The Knicks vehemently argued Thomas was in position to draw a charging foul but Thomas instead was called for the block.
“I thought I was there,” Thomas said. “He made a nice move attacking the basket. I tried to come over and take the charge but I guess I was a little late.”
New York remained within striking distance behind two 3-pointers from Crawford, his second cutting Miami’s lead to 71-63 with 47 seconds remaining in the third period.
Wade scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and the Knicks never could get closer than 75-66 with 9:48 in the game.
Stephon Marbury led New York with 23 points, while Crawford finished with 20 points.
“We played as hard as we could and tried to get a win,” Marbury said. “We could have easily shut it down, when they went up but we didn’t. We continued to fight and came to play against a very good team.”
O’Neal scored six points in a 12-point run, which pushed the Heat’s lead to 45-27 with 3:30 remaining in the second quarter.
“I had an awful first quarter but I picked it up,” O’Neal said. “To all you single guys out there, it’s not how you start the date, it’s how you finish the date.”
The Knicks twice had nine-point leads in the first quarter, including a 15-6 advantage after Thomas’ field goal with 7:02 remaining.
But the Heat, paced by Eddie Jones’ seven points, ended the first on a 19-6 run. Jones finished the quarter hitting all five of his shots.
“They played well tonight, their rotation was a lot crisper (than Tuesday’s game),” Knicks head coach Herb Williams said. “They can be a championship team.”
Notes:Q Wade has scored 30 or more points in 11 games this season … Christian Laettner hurt his right foot late in the second quarter and did not return. He will be placed on the injured list and miss the next five games. Alonzo Mourning will take his place on the Heat’s rotation … The Knicks are 13-19 in back-to-back games this season. They completed their 16th set of back-to-back games and have another five remaining this season … Movie director and Knicks fan Spike Lee attended the game … Thirteen-year-old Lateefah Dooling, a cousin of Heat reserve guard Keyon Dooling, sang the national anthem.