MIAMI (AP)—Whenever possible, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra reminds his team that defense and rebounding have long been cornerstones of the Heat philosophy.
Those players are listening.
Dwyane Wade scored 24 points before taking the fourth quarter off, the Heat held Washington without a field goal for 9 minutes in the second half and outrebounded the bigger Wizards by a huge margin on the way to an easy 97-77 victory on Friday night.
A 20-1 run in the third quarter turned a six-point lead into a rout for Miami (5-4), which needed 20 games to hit the five-win mark last season.
“That was big and the activity level was incredible,” Spoelstra said. “We weren’t giving them airspace. We weren’t giving them anything in the paint and it appeared they were covering two or three guys at one time. There were three instances where Shawn Marion was guarding two guys at once.”
Michael Beasley scored 19 points, Udonis Haslem had 13 points and 13 rebounds and Marion—who had missed two games with a strained groin—added 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who held a 52-33 advantage on the boards.
“Our core defense was really good and solid,” Marion said. “We were able to contain them and limit them to one shot and that opened up everything else for us.”
Antawn Jamison finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, which fell to 0-4 on the road and an Eastern Conference-worst 1-6 overall. JaVale McGee and Nick Young each added 13 points for the Wizards, while former Heat standout Caron Butler was held to six points.
Jamison let his frustration show after the game, saying his team has “to have some pride.”
“This is something that is unacceptable and something we can’t tolerate at all. … We’re going over what we need to do in the morning and we get out on the court and we don’t do it,” Jamison said. “Nothing is missing. Nothing is missing at all. It’s guys just not getting it done.”
Wade was 8-for-10 from the floor, 7-for-9 from the line and saw his franchise-record run of four straight games with at least 30 points end.
“It’s not about scoring with me,” “My presence out there is going to draw double-teams and is going to give my teammates opportunities to get open shots. And whether I’m passing to them or someone else is passing to them, I’m helping. To me, it’s about getting these wins and this is a good one to get.”
Except for one little third-quarter Washington rally, Miami held control throughout.
The Heat made their first five shots and ran out to a 13-point lead by halftime, with Wade and Beasley combining for 25 points by the break.
Beasley had perhaps the best moment yet of his young career, leaping to snare a miss by Chris Quinn with his left hand and dunking it all in the same motion for a 36-25 lead with 8:20 left in the half. The margin eventually reached 15 on consecutive baskets by Marion.
And it could have been much worse.
Miami was 1-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half, and when the Heat offense stalled a bit in the third quarter, the Wizards got right back into the game. Butler made a back-door cut and took a perfect bounce pass from Darius Songalia for a dunk that got the Wizards within 56-50.
Wade decided that was close enough, and Miami immediately went on a game-deciding spurt.
The 2006 NBA finals MVP answered Butler’s dunk with a reverse layup, starting what became a 20-1 Heat run. He made a 3-pointer—only the Heat’s second in 15 attempts—then had a putback and conventional three-point play to further extend the margin.
The burst ended when Marion’s layup with 38 seconds left in the quarter made the lead 76-51.
“We didn’t bring that intensity that we needed to overcome a Wade,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.
After Butler’s dunk, the Wizards went 0-for-6 from the floor with three turnovers over the remainder of the quarter, and didn’t register another field goal until McGee’s baseline jumper with 10:21 remaining.
“That’s what we’ve got to do to win and compete every night, play with a lot of energy,” Haslem said.
It was only Miami’s third win in its last 19 games against divisional opponents, dating to late in the 2006-07 season. … Butler, who blossomed into a star when he played in Miami, shook hands with Heat owner Micky Arison just before tipoff. … David Oliver, who won the bronze medal for the U.S. in the 110-meter hurdles this summer at the Beijing Olympics, sat courtside and took a picture of the jumbotron when his face was shown on the big screen. … Miami is 5-0 when holding teams under 100 points, 0-4 when it doesn’t.