Wednesday , Mar , 08 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Rising Heat take on Wizards in South Beach

(Sports Network) – The red-hot Miami Heat go for their 10th straight victory
tonight, as they welcome the Washington Wizards to AmeircanAirlines Arena.

This is the third meeting of the campaign between the Southeast Division
rivals. The Heat defeated the Wizards on December 11th at home and on December
30th at Washington.

The Heat have won 10 straight in this series, while Washington has lost five
straight and seven of its last eight at Miami.

The last time Washington defeated the Heat was on April 11, 2003.

Washington is scheduled to host the Heat on April 8th at the Verizon Center in
the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the clubs.

Miami, seeded No. 2 in the East, opens a five-game homestand this evening. On
Monday, Shaquille O’Neal scored a season-high 35 points, including all of
Miami’s points in overtime, as the Heat rallied on the road to knock off the
Charlotte Bobcats, 106-105.

O’Neal, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday, scored 27 of his points
after halftime and grabbed 12 boards to pace the Heat to their season-high
ninth consecutive victory. Miami won despite playing without All-Star guard
Dwyane Wade, who sat out with a sprained right wrist.

Jason Williams scored 24 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, while
Udonis Haslem tallied 16 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Charlotte for
the Heat.

Wade is questionable for tonight’s game. He leads the team in scoring (27.3
ppg) and assists (6.8 apg).

The Heat are an impressive 22-6 at home this season. They will also host
Golden State, Cleveland, Utah and Boston on the current homestand.

Meanwhile, the Wizards have lost four of their last five games, including
Tuesday’s heart-breaking loss in overtime to the Boston Celtics. Paul Pierce
sank a buzzer-beating jump shot in OT for the 116-115 triumph.

Gilbert Arenas recorded a game-high 39 points and still managed five assists
for Washington, which blew a 13-point fourth quarter lead to fall for the
fourth time in its last five outings.

The sixth-seeded Wizards will now take their game to South Beach and are 1-6
in their last seven road tilts.

Washington owns just a 9-18 road mark this season.