Heat exact revenge in 102-72 blowout over Wizards
The Miami Heat held the Washington Wizards to 29 percent from the field in the first quarter, never yielding control after starting on a 16-point lead. Although shooting guard Jordan Crawford attempted a comeback with a 3-pointer in the early seconds of the second quarter so that the Washington Wizards were trailing 28-22, that was the last significant progress made by the team to cut the Miami Heat’s lead in the game.
"We kind of turned into putty tonight," said Washington Wizards coach Randy Whittman.
By halftime, the Miami Heat had built a considerable 50-36 lead, while defense held the Washington Wizards to total 46 points even after three quarters in the game. The Miami Heat shot 50.6 percent from the field, while holding the Washington Wizards a 37.5, and 35 percent from beyond the arc.
"I didn't know what we were running half the time. Credit to Miami. They came out and put pressure on us and we didn't handle their pressure,” stated Randy Whittman. “I don't know what we were doing from an offensive standpoint."
While the Miami Heat’s victory can be credited to the exceptional harmony between the offense and consistent defense as well as detail to ball movement, they faced an under-manned team on Saturday, with Washington Wizards missing several key players (including point guards) due to injuries.
Chris Bosh had 12 points, while Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem each added 13 points for the Miami Heat, who converted 21 turnovers for 30 points. Bradley Beal led the Washington Wizards with 19 points and Cartier Martin racked-up 18 points.
The third quarter offered more excitement despite the predictable outcome of the game. However, it wasn’t due to an unexpected comeback by the Washington Wizards – rather it was due to Miami Heat’s absolute domination and LeBron James’ insane efforts extend his streak of 20-point games. Forward LeBron James who led the Miami Heat with 23 points, including 16 alone in the third quarter, went hot knowing he’ll see the fourth from the bench.
“I just wanted to make a statement on the game,” said LeBron James.
LeBron James went on a personal 8-0 run at the end of the third quarter. Dwyane Wade set him up for a an easy shot with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter to increase the Miami Heat’s lead to 69-40, while LeBron James also made two consecutive jumpers with 1:56 minutes left in the quarter to bring him up to 19 points. Even after Ray Allen gained possession of a Norris Cole-versus-Bradley Beal jump Ball and passed it down court to LeBron James for a layup, the reigning MVP had his eye set beyond the personal 20-point target. LeBron James added to his score with a 17-footer late in the third quarter before spending the rest of the night on the bench.
"We came out and set a tone early on," said Dwyane Wade. "And everyone followed."