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The Heat entered averaging 19.7 points off turnovers per game this season, and defense has been the cornerstone of everything Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has preached this season.
But Miami created little in the form of takeaways on Monday, and that meant the Heat simply couldn't build any sort of sizable lead.
Charlotte had just three turnovers -- which Miami turned into exactly zero points -- in the first half, a major reason why, even though Wade had piled up 22 points at the midway point, the Heat went into the locker room leading only 51-48.
Wade got his scoring total up to 31 after the third quarter. Problem was, his teammates only contributed six points in the period, combining to shoot 3-for-11, and the Bobcats led 68-66 entering the fourth.
Notes: Rappers Lil Wayne and Bow Wow sat courtside, and University of Miami standout Jack McClinton -- a good friend of injured Heat forward Dorell Wright -- also was in attendance. ... Heat center Jamaal Magloire needed seven stitches to repair a cut right elbow in the first half, after he took a tumble while fighting for a rebound. ... Bobcats reserve Alexis Ajinca scratched his right cornea in the first half, after scoring four points in his only 2 minutes of playing time.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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