LeBron leads Heat past Wizards

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 06, 2013
The Miami Heat hit the boards from the start and pulled away at the end. Chastened by a rare home defeat, Miami had a rebounding advantage for a change Sunday and scored the final 21 points to beat the woeful Washington Wizards 99-71. The Heat were coming off only their third home loss of the season Friday against Chicago. They allowed the Bulls 20 second-chance points, but Washington totaled just four. Miami, beaten on the boards by a total of 38 rebounds over the previous three games, this time enjoyed a 50-39 advantage. Udonis Haslem had 12 rebounds and Chris Bosh added nine. ''There were some better in-traffic battles, guys going up and trying to get it with two hands, guys getting up off the ground,'' coach Erik Spoelstra said. ''That disposition to rebound was better. It's an effort thing.'' The game matched the teams with the best and worst records in the Eastern Conference, and in the late going it looked like it. Miami scored the final 21 points and held Washington scoreless over the last 7:07. ''The defense came alive,'' LeBron James said. ''We understand that if we want to win, ultimately we have to defend.'' James scored 24 points, extending his streaks of scoring at least 20 to 32 consecutive games this season, and 53 in a row including last year's playoff run. James launched into a long jump in dismay when his dunk was waved off because of a Wizards foul. He gave the Heat a scare when he tweaked his left ankle and limped away from a scrum after drawing a foul, but he stayed in the game. And there was no slackening in his scoring pace. He shot 9 for 17 and had seven assists. The Wizards (4-28), last in the NBA in points and shooting, clanked a succession of open shots and hit 36 only percent. They lost their fifth game in a row and fell to 0-13 on the road against Eastern Conference teams. Miami improved to 16-3 at home and now embarks on a six-game trip. ''We're going to see where we're at,'' Bosh said. ''Trips are always a test.'' As the Heat center, Bosh became a focus of criticism for their poor work on the boards. In response, he said, he kept track of his rebound total during the game. ''I'm just counting them so everybody will get off my back,'' he said with a chuckle. ''It's nine today. OK. Now I need to get nine the next game -- or maybe even 10. ''The only way we can do a better job is if each guy challenges himself a little more, and I challenged myself tonight.'' Spoelstra said he noticed a difference in Bosh, who sparked a fast start by Miami. ''I just like to see him get off the floor,'' Spoelstra said. ''He probably had more jumps in this game than he has had in a lot of them. He was active. It felt like he was a 7-foot player, which he is.'' Bosh finished with 17 points and a season-high four blocks. Ray Allen scored 20 off the bench and helped Miami pull away in the fourth quarter. The Heat made their first seven shots to go ahead 15-6. The Wizards made several runs but never managed to pull even. ''Every time we came back, we got lazy,'' center Kevin Seraphin said. ''We have to learn that every time we come back, we have to keep going to get stops.'' The Wizards cut the margin to 78-71 midway through the fourth quarter but didn't score again, missing their final eight shots. Allen made two 3-pointers and a three-point play down the stretch for the Heat. He finished 8 for 12. ''When you're not scoring and they're running, we're not making them take the ball out of bounds,'' Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. ''That makes a difference.'' Jordan Crawford, who leads Washington in scoring this season, went 1 for 7 and was held to two points. Seraphin led the Wizards with 14 points off the bench. NOTES: The crowd included New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, seated in the front row at midcourt next to Heat owner Micky Arison. ... The Heat begin their trip Tuesday at Indiana, where they're 9-35. ... The Heat had their best start shooting since Dec. 27, 2009 against the Pacers, when they made their first eight shots. ... Even with the loss, the Wizards are 3-3 against Miami over the past two seasons. ... Billy the Marlin drew scattered boos when he made an appearance to help celebrate Heat mascot Burnie's birthday. Fans are unhappy about the team's recent payroll purge.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker