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Wizards stun Heat for second victory

The SportsXchange

WASHINGTON -- For the second night in the Nation's Capital with Robert Griffin III in the building, David beat Goliath.

Maybe RGIII's Redskins were not a major underdog against the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants, but the besieged Washington Wizards certainly were against the defending NBA champion Miami Heat

Carrying the NBA's worst record, the Wizards used a pass-first gameplan and stunned the Heat with a 105-101 victory on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.

Jordan Crawford scored 22 points, and Kevin Seraphin had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards (2-13), who extended their winning streak against the Heat (12-4) to three games. Washington, which started the season with 12 consecutive losses, finished with a season-high 31 assists on 38 field goals.

"That's as good as we moved the ball all year," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said following his team's second win in three games. "The ball didn't stick as much tonight. ... I'm so happy for those guys. I told them, 'Maybe it's starting to pay off for us now, those close games that we should've won but gave away.'"

LeBron James notched his first triple-double of the season with 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for the Heat, who entered with a six-game winning streak. Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and Chris Bosh had 20 points and 12 rebounds.

Given the disparity between the teams' resumes, looking past the Wizards and ahead to a rematch with New York on Thursday seems like a plausible explanation for the Heat's sluggish start.

"I think we came out and didn't have a sense of urgency from the start," said James, who had played extended point guard minutes once Mario Chalmers left in the first half with a jammed finger.

The Wizards led after every quarter, by 12 in the third quarter and 82-78 entering the fourth. After the Heat pulled even at 88 on Bosh's layup midway through the fourth quarter, Seraphin countered with jumper on the next possession, putting Washington ahead for good. The Wizards extended the margin to five and led 102-99 with 10.3 seconds left after a Jordan Crawford free throw following James' missed 3-pointer.

Coming out of a timeout James quickly scored inside, but Crawford sank two more from the foul line with 6.9 seconds left. James launched again from beyond the arc, another miss as Miami finished 8 of 28 on 3-point attempts. Nene grabbed the miss and split a pair of free throws to seal the win.

"We lost so many games close like that," Seraphin said. "Now we finally learn. Everybody starts to get it. We got a game plan tonight. We just execute."

Perhaps Washington's latest starting lineup, its fifth this season, spurred the Wizards onto a 30-25 lead after the first quarter. Maybe some RG3 magic washed over the basketball locals because the Wizards scored their most points in a first quarter and first half this season.

"You see him there, it kind of gets you going," Wizards guard Bradley Beal said of his rookie counterpart's, who sat only a few seats from the Wizards bench and received a roar from the crowd when introduced on the overhead video board.

Crawford's 3-pointer capped the first quarter scoring and he scored five of his 12 first-half points during a 9-0 run as Washington led 41-32. Down 56-46 with 2:10 remaining, the Heat's gambling defense led to two steals during an 8-0 spurt, but Beal finished off consecutive layup attempts as the Wizards led 60-54.

Washington shot 70.6 percent (12 of 17) in the second quarter and 58.3 percent in the first half before the announced crowd of 17, 761.

As for Griffin, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner stuck around until the final stunning seconds ticked off, shaking hands with James on his way out.

"A lot of guys leave," said Beal, who finished with 10 points. "It was a great game all the way through for 48 minutes. I don't blame him for not leaving. I wouldn't anybody to leave in that type of situation."

NOTES: Wizards forward Trevor Ariza left the game in the third quarter with a left calf strain. ... Chris Singleton, who started 51 games last season for Washington as a rookie, made his first start of the 2012-13 campaign. ... James and Singleton were each assessed a technical foul in the second quarter. ... The Heat played without Shane Battier (knee) and Norris Cole (groin strain). ... Miami opens a four-game homestand against the New York Knicks on Thursday. Washington plays at Atlanta on Friday.
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