If the two-time defending NBA champions want to make it a
three-peat, they will have to play much better than their current
Point guard John Wall paced seven double-figure scorers with 25
points as the Wizards opened up a 34-point first half and crushed
the Heat 114-97 on Wednesday.
Guard Bradley Beal and forward Nene each had 19 points for the
Wizards (18-19), who lost their last four home games. Washington
entered with a 1-14 record vs. teams with winning records this
The Wizards led by double digits much of the game and fended off a
furious Miami rally in the second half.
"They came here, whatever. They went to the White House, whatever.
We just came here to play," said Nene, who set a career-high with
nine assists and set the defensive tone by blocking an attempted
layup by James in the opening minute. "We played hard, played
together. It was business."
Center Chris Bosh had 26 points and forward LeBron James scored 25
for the Heat (27-11), who have lost three straight games in regular
season play for the first time since Jan. 10-13, 2012. Guard Norris
Cole added 15 points for the Heat, who were never closer than nine
points during the second half.
The Wizards shot 77.3 percent (17 of 22) from the field and led
43-18 after the first quarter thanks to a 25-2 run.
"Defensively we're just not that good right now," James said. "For
us to win we have to defend and there is no way we can give up (69)
points in the first half, 43 points in the first quarter on 77
percent shooting. It just can't happen."
The spurt included a 20-0 run on 10 consecutive field goals. Nene
scored 13 points in the second and his free throws gave Washington
its largest lead at 64-30.
"It was amazing. It looked like a video game," Nene said of
Washington's torrid start, which included stellar ball movement. The
Brazilian big man matched Wall with a team-high nine assists,
setting a personal career-best.
The Heat had won 22 straight games vs. fellow Southeast division
foes. Nine of Miami's 11 losses had come vs. opponents with sub .500
Miami shot a paltry 7 of 25 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Guard Dwyane Wade scored eight points in his return after sitting
out Friday's loss at Brooklyn. His appearance did little to boost
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"We just came out too lax," James said. "They were playing at
another speed. They were playing at like 15 and were like seven.
Don't even give us that much credit. We were playing like five.
They were running by us."
Forward Trevor Booker had 13 points and 11 rebounds, center
Marcin Gortat scored 12 points and forward Martell Webster had
11 for the Wizards, who shot a season-high 54.7 percent from the
In the midst of a six-game road trip, Miami had not played since
Friday's loss against the Brooklyn Nets. The rust showed.
Miami's attempted comeback began late in the second. James
scored 13 in the first half, including Miami's final seven as
the Heat closed the quarter with an 18-5 run, entering halftime
After Washington bumped the margin back to 29 in the third, the
Heat outscored the Wizards 26-6 over the final 7:03 of the
period with James, Bosh and Cole combining for 23 in that
Trailing 86-77 entering the fourth, Miami would never pull
closer. Wall scored 14 points in the final period.
"I really think we took a toll on them tonight," Webster said.
"In the fourth quarter I didn't think they had anything left."
NOTES: Heat C Greg Oden, his career sabotaged with numerous knee
injuries, played nine minutes and had six points in his first
NBA game since Dec. 5, 2009. "It felt good, just being able to
be back on the court," said the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007
NBA draft. "Honestly, the big thing is be able to have now that
connection with my teammates. I've been here, I've been around,
but when you're not playing sometimes deep down you don't always
feel part of the team as much." ... Miami limited frontcourt
options following the three-team trade earlier in the day, which
sent veteran center Joel Anthony to the Boston Celtics. The Heat
acquired point Toney Douglas, but he is not yet with the team.
... The Heat were without C Chris Andersen (knee) and G Mario
Chalmers (right Achilles strain), who missed his fourth straight
game. ... Wizards F Nene started for the second straight game.
... Heat president Pat Riley spoke pregame regarding Wednesday's
trade involving C Joel Anthony. "This is very, very, very, very,
very, very hard to do. He's part of the family. He helped us win
two championships." Miami C Greg Oden turns 26 on Jan. 22. ...
Miami travels to face the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, the same
day Washington hosts the Chicago Bulls.
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