Sunday , Mar , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Haslem lifts Heat over Wizards on final-second heroics

Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Udonis Haslem nailed a jumper with 0.3 seconds
left on the clock to give Miami a wild 106-104 victory over Washington at
AmericanAirlines Arenas.

Eddie Jones scored 18 points, Gary Payton had a season-high 17 points and
seven assists and Alonzo Mourning added 16 points, seven rebounds and four
blocks for the Heat, who have won 12 straight at home and six in a row
overall.

Shaquille O’Neal battled through early foul trouble to finish with 12 points
and six boards.

Haslem, Jason Williams, and Antoine Walker each scored 11 points and James
Posey contributed 10 as Miami had eight players in double-figures for the
first time since February 14, 1991.

Gilbert Arenas poured in 33 points and Antawn Jamison had 26 points and 15
rebounds for the Wizards, who have lost three in a row overall and seven
straight in Miami.

“We play great basketball in (AmericanAirlines Arenas), but we just can not
get over that hump,” said Arenas. “(Miami) is a championship team. They know
how to play.”

Dating back to the start of the 2002-03 season, Miami has taken 14 of 15
meetings with the Wizards.

Holding a 103-101 lead with 38.6 seconds left in the game, Walker collected
the rebound off his own missed three-pointer and Payton was fouled with
8.5 ticks left on the clock.

With a chance to ice the game, the veteran bricked both of his free-throw
attempts to keep Washington alive.

The Wizards turned the ball over when Jamison was whistled for a blocking foul
on the ensuing inbounds pass, but Williams failed on his chance to put the
game away with 4.1 seconds left when he hit 1-of-2 free throws to make it
104-101.

Payton then inexplicably got too close to Arenas on Washington’s last
possession, fouling the Wizards star on his three-point attempt with 3.1
seconds remaining.

Arenas calmly sank all three shots from the line to tie the game, but Haslem
answered for Miami, driving to the lane before sinking the fadeaway jumper to
win it for the Heat.

“I was kind of surprised when (Miami head coach Pat Riley) called my number,”
said Haslem. “At the same time I was very confident. I just didn’t want him to
be tossing and turning later on tonight, kicking himself for calling my
number.”

Miami dominated most of the first half and held a 16-point lead late in the
second quarter. Arenas, however, banked in a running three-pointer at the
buzzer to cut Washington’s deficit to 56-43 at the break.

The Wizards appeared to carry the momentum into the second half, scoring the
first 13 points of the third quarter to tie the game on a pair of Arenas free
throws. Jamison led the way on the Wizards’ run, scoring nine of his team’s
points.

The Heat regained a four-point lead, 62-58, on an O’Neal layup, but Arenas
nailed a three to spark a 22-6 Wizards run that gave Washington a 12-point
advantage, 80-68, on Butler’s throwdown with just over two minutes to play.

Washington took a 81-72 lead into the fourth before the Heat ripped off 10
straight points to take a 85-84 lead on Jones’ layup just under four minutes
into the final quarter. The game remained tight from there as neither team was
able to put a run together.

“We are the most experienced team in the league when it comes to playing from
behind,” said O’Neal. “I think they got a little too happy, running their
mouths, jumping up and down, looking at the Heat dancers and all that stuff.”

After an Arenas layup gave the Wizards a 8-7 early in the first quarter, the
Heat ripped off 11 straight points, capped by back-to-back threes by Posey, to
grab an 18-8 lead with just under three minutes remaining. An Antonio Daniels
jumper made it a nine-point game, but Payton converted a three-point play and
Mourning added a layup to give Miami a 28-14 heading into the second quarter.

An Etan Thomas layup brought Washington within nine, 35-26, with 7:30 left in
the second before Miami responded with a late 10-3 spurt to push their lead to
16 on Walker’s three with 32 seconds remaining. Arenas countered with his
buzzer- beating trey to make it a 13-point game at halftime.

Game Notes

Miami finished 10-of-29 form the charity stripe…Mourning passed Glen Rice to
become the Heat’s all-time leader in minutes played. Mourning ended the game
with 17,063 minutes played while Rice stands at 17,059…The 38 points scored
by Washington in the third period was the most allowed by the Heat this
season.

WAS MIA