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Torrid Wizards shoot 67 percent in first half

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The weary Miami Heat had no chance against a Washington Wizards team that was poised for dominance.

The Wizards used a torrid shooting first half to take control, and Jerry Stackhouse helped make the advantage stand up in a 95-65 rout Saturday night.

The Wizards, who shot 67 percent in the decisive first half, were equally effective on the other end. The 65 points were the fewest allowed in franchise history, bettering the previous mark of 69.

Washington coach Doug Collins, knowing Miami was coming off a
home loss to New Jersey one night earlier, ordered his players to
make quick work of the visitors.

"I didn't want to give them any life. They probably got in about 3 or 4 in the morning, so I wanted to jump on them,'' Collins said. "I said, `Let's get them down early. Let's not give them any hope.'''

His players complied, racing to an 11-2 lead and going 11-for-15
from the field to take a 28-14 lead after the first quarter.

The Wizards made 22 of 33 field-goal attempts before halftime to
take a 59-32 lead, then got eight points from Stackhouse in the
third quarter to build the margin to 30 points.

"We came out aggressive. We did our work early,'' said Wizards
guard Larry Hughes, who scored all 14 of his points in the first
half.

Malik Allen scored 14 for the Heat, who have lost five straight.

"We couldn't make a shot for eight to 10 minutes. Once we got
down, we just lost our confidence,'' Miami coach Pat Riley said.
"This was a bad, bad, bad game.''

The Heat (1-7), off to their worst start since 1994-95, have scored fewer than 65 points only twice in franchise history.

"It was a total breakdown,'' Riley said.

Stackhouse finished with 16 points and 10 assists, and Kwame Brown scored 15 for the Wizards. Michael Jordan scored eight, but was a factor in the decisive first half, leading a 7-for-7 performance from the Washington bench by sinking all three of his shots.

The Heat missed six of their first seven shots and had four
turnovers in the first 6 minutes while falling behind 11-2 -- and
that was before Jordan entered.

Brian Grant finally got Miami's second basket with 4:50 left in
the quarter, but Jordan hit a pair of jumpers and added an assist
within a 90-second span to put Washington up 19-8.

Jordan's impact was not limited to the offensive end. Early in
the second, he leaped across the Miami baseline to grab a loose
ball. Jordan remained airborne while passing to Tyronn Lue, whose
bounce pass to Brown produced a 3-point play and a 35-16 lead.

It was 51-30 before Stackhouse hit a 3-pointer, Wizards rookie
Jared Jeffries scored three straight points and Hughes scored at
the buzzer to put the Wizards ahead by 27.

Washington cooled in the third quarter, going 7-for-17, but still built on its lead.

The Heat finished with 33 percent shooting (25-for-76) and
failed to reach 20 points in any period.

"The guys are going to have to take a hard look at
themselves,'' Riley said. "They were trying like crazy -- for a
while. Then they got absolutely disheartened.''

Game notes
Miami reserve guard Travis Best bruised his right thigh in
the second quarter and did not return. ... Washington (6-4) is off
to its best start since 1975. ... Riley coached his 1,605th game,
moving within two of Cotton Fitzsimmons for seventh on the career
list. Riley was called for a technical foul in the first quarter.
... Stackhouse or Jordan have led the Wizards in scoring in every
game this season. ... Miami's Ken Johnson made his NBA debut.