Not even Robert Griffin III was going to help the Washington Wizards stand a chance against the Miami Heat.
Not even when the Wizards cut the Heat lead to seven with seven minutes remaining was there any worry. The Heat would up ending the game on a 21-0 run, leading the way to an easy 99-71 win over a Washington team that holds the league’s worst record at 4-28 after Sunday’s loss. Miami moves to 23-9, recovering from a troublesome loss to Chicago when they were outrebounded 48-28.
The Wizards certainly aren’t the Bulls at that aspect of the game, but the Heat can at least be pleased with the fact they won the rebounding battle by a 50-39 margin. They were led by Udonis Haslem’s 12–just his second double-digit rebounding performance of the season–and Chris Bosh’s nine. Washington, on the other hand, had no players with double-digit rebounding totals.
Leading the way for the Heat was LeBron James shooting 9-of-17 from the field, tacking up 24 points to extend his streak scoring 20 points to 32 games, and 53 when you include last year’s postseason. He has scored at least 20 points in every single game this season and is closing in on George Gervin’s record of 45 consecutive games of 20+ points to start a season.
James also added in seven assists, two rebounds and a block.
While Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh combined for only 31 points, 14 and 17 respectively, it was the Heat bench that played a vital role in keeping the margin around double-digits and the Wizards at bay. Ray Allen was back at it with 20 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from deep, while Mike Miller dropped in a hearty 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting. The two combined for ten boards, while shooting a combined 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
The Heat certainly needed it with Wade starting off slow and Mario Chalmers (5 points on 1-of-7 shooting) providing little to nothing. Allen, Miller and LeBron (2-of-3 from beyond the arc) led the Heat to 8-of-21 shooting from beyond the arc. On the other end, the Wizards also attempted 21 three’s, but came away with only six.
While the score indicates a blowout, the Heat were given a bit of a scare midway through the fourth. The Heat had numerous attempts to put the Wizards away, only to be met with a timely three-pointer usually by the likes of Cartier Martin–the Wizards’ leading scorer with 13 points on 3-of-6 shooting from deep.
The Heat saw their 76-62 lead cut to 79-71 following a Martin three and a pair of layups by Bradley Beal and Jordan Crawford. However, the Wizards became the Wizards and failed to score a point the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Heat racked up 21 points while still having enough time to implement garbage-time substitutions for the final minute. Washington couldn’t even score against a lineup that included James Jones.
Miami outscored Washington 30-11 in the final frame, this coming after consecutive quarters of sleepwalking where the Heat outscored the Wizards 42-41 in the second and third quarters. Only problem for Washington was that they were outscored 57-30 in the first and fourth frames.
Chris Bosh set the tone with an 11-point first quarter, before quieting down to finish with 17 rebounds and four blocks. Even more encouraging was just how good a job he and the rest of the Heat frontcourt did corralling Emeka Okafor and Nene Hilario. Those two combined for a mere ten points on 3-of-12 shooting, while both playing less than 23 minutes in order to keep up with the Heat’s small lineup.
In the end, it was the Heat’s shooters, as well as LeBron James of course, leading the way.
Miami now goes on the road for a six-game trip that starts in Indiana.