Sunday, January 6, 2013

Heat Burn Wizards

After winning the 2012 NBA title, the Miami Heat were having another stellar start to the season in their 2013 campaign. At 22-9, Miami was again at the top of the Eastern Conference, as they hosted the 4-27 Washington Wizards on Sunday night in South Beach.

The Wizards were victorious in one of the two previous meetings against Miami this season, beating the defending champs at the Verizon Center 105-101, but falling two weeks later to the same team in Miami 102-72.

Miami jumped out to an early 13-3 lead, but the Wizards went on a 12-4 run to pull to within 2. Miami closed the first quarter strong, leading 27-19, behind 11 points and 4 rebounds from Chris Bosh. Miami maintained a steady lead during the second quarter, leading 52-44 at the half. The Wizards were able to draw no closer than to within 5 points, after trailing by as many as 11.

By the end of the 3rd quarter, Miami was still in control with a 69-60 advantage heading into the 4th, behind 20 points from LeBron James and 4 blocks from Chris Bosh. With 8:27 left in the game, Miami took a 14 point lead, their biggest of the night, but the Wizards stormed back with Miami's big three on the bench, cutting the lead to 7 with 6:58 remaining. After an Erik Spoelstra timeout, Miami regained its balance, and with LeBron and Dwyane Wade back in the game, went on an amazing 21-0 run to close out a 99-71 victory.

Heat forward LeBron James drives on Wizards forward Kevin Seraphin

LeBron led Miami with 24 points and 7 assists, while Ray Allen contributed 20 off the bench, 9 of them coming from three-point range. The Wizards were led by Kevin Seraphin with 14 points, and Cartier Martin chipped in 13, including 3 three-pointers of his own. The Wizards will travel back to D.C. Monday night to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Verizon Center in what could be the return of forward Trevor Ariza, who has been out since December 4th with a strained left calf.