O'Neal had 20 points, nine rebounds and three blocks, and Dwyane
Wade had 22 points and nine assists in a 103-93 win over the
Washington Wizards on Tuesday night.
Udonis Haslem added 18 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, which
moved to 4-0 for the first time in club history and won a
team-record 14th straight regular-season home game dating to last
season. Yet what riled the Heat was the way they allowed the
Wizards to come back after trailing by 29.
"We've got to stay consistent with our defense at all times,"
said O'Neal, who added four assists but also was charged with nine
turnovers. "We had a 29-point lead and only won the game by 10. We
can't let that happen."
Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points for Washington, which lost to
the Heat for the second time in four nights and failed to score 100
points for the first time this season.
Antawn Jamison finished with 14, well off the 27.3-point average
he carried into the game.
"We were bad on offense," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
"We couldn't make a shot, couldn't make a play."
Haslem and Wade combined to score 25 of Miami's 37 points in the
third quarter, when the Heat led by as many as 24. The lead grew
even more before Washington outscored Miami 28-9 over the final
"We need to learn how to close the game," Heat guard Eddie
Wade shot 7-for-11 from the field and sat out all but three
minutes of the fourth quarter. So far this season, Wade, who's
averaging 27 points and eight assists, has connected on 57.4
percent of his shots, a 10.9 percent improvement over his rookie
Damon Jones added 12 points, all coming on 3-pointers, for
Miami, which made 51.9 percent of its shots; Washington connected
on only 43.2 percent and committed 20 turnovers that led to 21
"I was happy with our defense for large parts of the game,"
Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "Every coach in the league is
fighting it: We've got to master 48 minutes all the time, same
effort no matter who's in the game, and we didn't do that at the
Larry Hughes' jumper with 5:22 left in the opening quarter put
Washington up 13-11, but the Wizards missed 10 straight shots over
the next 7:33 and never led again. Wade scored five points in a
13-3 burst that gave Miami a 24-16 lead.
A flurry of 3-pointers -- in a 69-second span, Arenas hit a pair
and Juan Dixon added one -- drew Washington to 26-25 with 8:40 left
in the half.
Miami, though, closed the half on a 24-12 burst, with Keyon
Dooling scoring his first six points of the season and Haslem
adding five, including a three-point play with 14.4 seconds left
that pushed Miami's lead to 50-35.
Wizards center Brendan Haywood said the Heat are clearly
enjoying having O'Neal around.
"They give it to the big fella," Haywood said, "and he makes
it easy for them."
Haywood played for the first time this season, finishing
with four points and seven rebounds. He was suspended for three
games after fighting in a preseason game against Chicago. ... Miami
trailed for 4 minutes, 44 seconds in the opening quarter; the Heat
trailed a total of 18 seconds in their first three games combined.
... Dooling played 11 first-half minutes, nearly twice his season
total entering the game. ... O'Neal went 4-for-10 from the foul
line -- raising his season percentage to 30.0.