Basketball

Heat retire O'Neal's jersey

Shaquille O'Neal fulfilled a promise in 2006 to bring Miami their first NBA championship and the Heat said "thank you" by retiring his No. 32 jersey yesterday.

The jersey was lifted to the rafters in an emotional but sometimes light-hearted half-time ceremony that included O'Neal's mother, Lucille, arriving on the court behind the wheel of a scaled-down 18-wheel truck.

But the best thing for the Heat yesterday morning was the fact that they rallied from a 19-point, second-quarter deficit to beat the Los Angeles Lakers - O'Neal's former club - 115-107 and snap a three-game losing skid.

O'Neal deflected the praise, thanking Heat boss Pat Riley as well as his teammates, especially star guard and former sidekick Dwyane Wade. - AFP

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