for this game

Blatche leads Wizards over hapless Heat

Dec 30, 2007 - 4:12 AM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Andray Blatche scored 18 points and Caron Butler had 16 as the Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat, 96-74, on Saturday night.

Antawn Jamison collected 15 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed in the contest.

They led by eight points after one period and shot 62.5 percent in the second, scoring the last eight points to lead 58-39 at the half and never looked back.

The Wizards dominated to begin the second half, outscoring the Heat, 10-1, to take a 68-40 lead with 6:24 to play in the third. Washington held hapless Miami without a field goal for 8:29 until Daequan Cook scored with 6:07 left.

"We made it tough for those guys early on," Jamison said.

"We moved the basketball around, and we executed very well at both ends of the floor," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said.

Miami (8-23), which has lost six of its last seven, was seeking to ride Dwyane Wade, who had a stellar game in Friday's loss to Orlando - collecting 48 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds.

With Shaquille O'Neal out with bursitis in his left hip, the Heat were depending on Wade.

"Today, he's like Secretariat," Heat coach Pat Riley said before the game. "He's, like sore. So, we're going to be rubbing him all day, brushing him down."

Wade had 12 points and six assists in 27 minutes and had seven turnovers for the Heat, who trailed, 86-56, with 9:27 remaining.

"Wade had to take some tough shots early and couldn't get into a comfort zone. We did a good job controlling the point and setting a good tempo," Jamison said.

Riley knew the game was lost quickly.

"We got six guys hurt. Once we got down in the third quarter, 26 or 27 points, it's foolish," Riley said. "We did make a run at them. Maybe, we'd make another one. It ain't worth it right now."

But despite a 15-0 run to make it 86-71 with 5:10 to play, Washington was easily able to hold them off. It was Miami's lowest point total of the season, and the fewest points the Wizards allowed since February 11, 2006.

"One positive point about tonight's game is that this is the last game of 2007. It's been a bad year," Riley said.

Wade, who didn't address whether he was sore or tired, agreed with his coach.

"I'm looking forward to 2008. 2007 has been rough, but I'm not going to complain about how my body feels," Wade said. "I'm sure everyone in here feels the same way. I'm looking forward to 2008."

Everything went right for nearly the entire game for the Wizards.

Early in the second quarter, Blatche had a wide-open layup but chose to show off with a thunderous dunk. The ball slammed off the back of the rim, and Blatche grabbed the rebound and passed it to Roger Mason Jr. for a 3-pointer.

"We didn't want to take Miami lightly because they were playing without Shaquille," Blatche said. "We knew we had to get a win."

Ricky Davis scored 22 points for the Heat, who played without O'Neal, Jason Williams, Alonzo Mourning, Chris Quinn and Smush Parker and also lost forward Dorell Wright, who sprained his left ankle in the second quarter.

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