Heat 98, Wizards 93

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WASHINGTON (AP)—The Washington Wizards are finished with the Miami Heat for the season. That’s the good news.

Dwyane Wade had 29 points and nine assists Wednesday to lead the Heat to a 98-93 win for their sixth consecutive victory—and second in three days over the Wizards.

Thanks to an NBA scheduling quirk, the Heat swept their four-game series with the Wizards before Christmas. The Wizards are 12-4 against the rest of the NBA.

“I’m glad I don’t have to see them until the playoffs—maybe,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “I don’t want to see them then, but I do want to see the playoffs, and maybe they’re there. But I’m glad we’re done with them. They pose a huge problem.”

Damon Jones, who shot 5-for-12 from behind the arc, hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Miami a 95-93 lead with 21.1 seconds left.

Shaquille O’Neal did a great job of passing the basketball and Dwyane Wade, as usual, did a good job of making plays and because of it I was able to get a rhythm and able to make shots,” Jones said.

Gilbert Arenas knew he blew the defensive assignment on Jones’ clutch shot.

“I just got sucked in on Dwayne Wade’s drive,” he said. “He faked his shot and passed it out to Damon Jones. If I would have stayed out, it could have been different, but it’s hard when he scores 14 in the fourth. He drags you right in there with him. He made a great play in not shooting and passing it out.”

After Christian Laettner blocked Antawn Jamison’s short jumper with 12 seconds remaining, Wade made one of two free throws to give Miami a 96-93 lead with 10.6 seconds left.

Arenas, who finished with 22 points and eight assists, had put Washington ahead 93-92 with two free throws with 33.8 seconds left.

“It’s a bad one to swallow,” he said. “We had it right there. It was our game to win.”

Before that, Brendan Haywood drew O’Neal’s sixth foul with 59.7 seconds left but missed both free throws and committed a lane violation on his second shot.

“This is the first time in my career when I go out of the game or even foul out that I’m not worried because I know I’ve got Mike (Doleac) and Christian (Laettner) to back me up,” O’Neal said. “We match up with this team pretty well. They have a lot of energy and a lot of shooters but if we can contain both their energy and their shooters we can beat them.”

Jones finished with 23 points and O’Neal added 13 points and 12 rebounds for Miami. Laettner had six rebounds and three blocks in 19 minutes.

Jamison, who scored 26 points, converted a three-point play to pull the Wizards to 92-91 with 1:36 left. O’Neal’s slam follow gave Miami a 92-88 lead with 2:07 remaining.

Larry Hughes had 19 points and six rebounds for the Wizards.

The Wizards scored the first six points of the third and took a 53-46 lead on Jared Jeffries’ layup off a steal by Arenas.

Jamison, who scored 10 points in the third, gave the Wizards a 70-62 lead on a baseline hook with 3:44 left in the period. Haywood made a free throw for a 75-66 lead with 1:59 remaining in the period.

Haywood’s three-point play gave Washington an 84-80 lead with 6:23 remaining in the game as O’Neal picked up his fifth foul.

Notes:@ Jamison received five stitches under his left eye in the first quarter and returned to the game shortly thereafter. … The Wizards and Heat are the only teams in the Eastern Conference with winning records on the road this season.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
D. Wade D. Wade
11-23,  29 Pts
5 Rebs, 9 Assists
G. Arenas G. Arenas
8-20,  22 Pts
7 Rebs, 8 Assists

Team Stat Leaders