MIAMI -- The Miami Heat, facing the Washington Wizards for the first time since an embarrassing loss that started a 2-3 stretch, never gave the NBA's worst team a chance at the upset in a 102-72 victory Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
Miami (15-6) returned to its winning ways at home. After starting the season 8-0, the team had lost two on its current six-game home stand, including a 97-95 defeat to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Since their Dec. 4 meeting, Washington (3-18) is 1-6 and is also 1-10 on the season away from the Verizon Center. The Heat snapped their three-game losing streak to the Wizards, which dated back to last season.
In that matchup two weeks ago, Washington jumped out to a 30-25 first-quarter lead, something Miami didn't allow to happen this time as the Heat went on a 19-5 run to close the quarter up 26-14 -- the fewest points allowed to an opponent this season. Miami's defense forced the Wizards into a 28.6 field goal percentage.
Washington, playing the second night of a back-to-back, came in as the NBA's lowest-scoring team, and its 50-36 halftime deficit proved to be a season-best defensive stand for the Heat.
LeBron James, who recorded a triple-double against the Wizards (26 points, 11 assists and 13 rebounds) in that 105-101 loss, started despite injuring his shoulder on a hard foul on Wednesday and sitting out practice on Friday.
James extended his streak to 26 consecutive games with 20 or more points with 16 in the third quarter as the Heat took a commanding 79-46 lead, outscoring the Wizards 29-10.
He finished with a double-double -- 23 points and 10 rebounds -- adding five assists.
A Heat lineup of Shane Battier, Joel Anthony, Ray Allen, Norris Cole and Mike Miller began the fourth quarter.
Bradley Beal, who attended the University of Florida, led the Wizards off the bench with 19 points, six of which came in the third quarter. Cartier Martin added 18 points.
Jordan Crawford, starting his fourth straight game at point guard with John Wall still recovering from a stress reaction in his left knee and A.J. Price out with a broken bone in his hand, struggled with just five points on 2-of-12 shooting.
Over the previous three games since the switch from shooting guard, he had averaged 18 points, 6.7 rebounds and five assists.
NOTES: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra replaced Shane Battier with Udonis Haslem in Saturday night's starting lineup. Haslem, who has started the past three games, has averaged 4.7 points and 4.3 rebounds during that span. Battier has logged about 20 minutes of playing time off the bench since missing three games with a knee injury, which included the first meeting between the Heat and Wizards on Dec. 4. "We'll take a look at it for a little bit," Spoelstra said. "If I need to change it I will. I know who our top 11 or 12 guys are. I know a lot of times who will be playing in the fourth quarter. I know what the end of the rotations will be. We can always tweak it." ... LeBron James started Saturday's game after participating in the team's shootaround earlier in the day. James, who bruised his shoulder on a foul by Golden State's David Lee on Wednesday, sat out Friday's practice and received extensive treatment. ... With John Wall still recovering from a stress reaction in his left knee and A.J. Price last week breaking a bone in his hand, Wizards coach Randy Wittman has moved Jordan Crawford into the starting point guard role. Over the past three games since the switch from shooting guard, he has averaged 18 points, 6.7 rebounds and five assists. "It is a work in progress," Wittman said. "(Jordan Crawford) is trying to do the right things and learn on the fly." ... The Wizards return home Tuesday to play Atlanta but head back to the Sunshine State to face the Magic on Wednesday. ... The Heat's six-game home stand ends Tuesday when Minnesota comes to town. After a quick stop in Dallas on Thursday, Miami will host Utah and Oklahoma City.