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News » Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-01

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-01

Miami Heat Getting Inside 2009-12-01Center Jermaine O'Neal said the balance between team and family could take him away from the Heat in coming days.

O'Neal, who rushed back from a family emergency in South Carolina to make it to Friday's game against Washington about two hours before tipoff, said the situation with his seriously ill uncle could have him back in Columbia in coming days.

"It could be a situation where it could take me away from the team," he said.

O'Neal's circumstances are compounded by the Heat leaving Monday morning for Portland, Ore., where a four-game western swing begins with Tuesday's game against the Trail Blazers.

"We're going to take it day by day," O'Neal said. "I'm going to try to stay here as long as I can and do my job and, if needed, go back to South Carolina and be with my family."

O'Neal said he was encouraged by his family to return to the Heat.

"You know you need to be there for your family, but you still have obligations," he said. "Talking to my grandmother and them, they wanted me to come back and play."

In a situation similar in its timing last year, forward Shawn Marion was excused from the Nov. 26 start of the Heat's western swing in Portland to attend a family funeral, joining the team two days later in Phoenix. The Heat has a day off after Tuesday's game in Portland, resuming its schedule Thursday in Denver.

O'Neal has missed one game this season, the Nov. 14 victory over visiting New Jersey, when he was sidelined with a bruised hip.

CELTICS 92, HEAT 82: The Heat had no answer for Boston forward Kevin Garnett, who shot 11 of 12 from the field and sparked Boston's rally from a five-point fourth-quarter deficit. Dwyane Wade regained his scoring stroke with 27 points and power forward Michael Beasley pushed the Heat to its lead early in the final period, but, ultimately, it was the Heat's fifth loss in its last seven games.

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Added: December 1, 2009


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