O’Neal, Heat top shorthanded Wizards
Washington, DC (Sports Network) – Shaquille O’Neal scored 23 points and
grabbed 10 rebounds as the Miami Heat held off the Washington Wizards, 92-83,
at the Verizon Center.
“Shaq is getting better every day, said Heat coach Pat Riley. “A lot of
people do not think Shaq can play anymore, and that is when he gets one-on-
ones. They may think he can play but teams are not going to double-team him
Jason Williams added 23 points for Miami, which has won two of its last three
games. Udonis Haslem chipped in with 12 points and 16 boards for the Heat,
who are 2-2 since Dwyane Wade’s injury.
DeShawn Stevenson deposited 19 points for Washington, which has lost four
straight games. Gilbert Arenas shot just 3-of-18 for 15 points for the
Wizards, who were again without Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison due to injury.
O’Neal scored all 10 of Miami’s points in the fourth until Eddie Jones drilled
a triple to put Miami ahead 82-73 with 1:12 left to play. The Heat then hit
all eight of their free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Washington shot just 7-of-26 in the fourth quarter.
“Tonight was a tough night because they went to him more than they normally do
because Dwayne Wade is out, said Wizards center Brendan Haywood. “We left it
up to single coverage, so a lot times it was up to whether he was going to
make or miss his shots.”
Leading 9-8 Miami went on a 15-0 run to open up a 24-8 advantage with 3:51
left in the first stanza. The Wizards responded by scoring 12 of the final 15
points in the session to close within 27-20 after one period.
A Jones triple sparked a 7-0 run to start the second and the Heat took
a 34-20 lead. Again, the Wizards fought back as a 16-6 run, capped by a Roger
Mason Jr. trey pulled Washington within four, 40-36 midway through the
Miami held a 46-45 edge at the half.
Andray Blatche’s dunk to start the third put the Wizards ahead, but the Heat
immediately re-gained the lead with a Williams three and Haslem layup putting
the Heat up for good 51-47 with 10:36 remaining in the third.
Miami led 69-65 heading into the final quarter.
Washington shot just 35.8 percent while Miami connected on 41.8 percent from
the field…Miami outrebounded Washington 49-43…Miami has won 13 of its last
14 meetings with Washington.