Mourning, Miami edge Washington for Southeast crown
Miami, FL (Sports Network) – Alonzo Mourning, starting in place of Shaquille
O’Neal, jammed for the go-ahead points and then came up with a blocked shot in
the final seconds, helping Miami to its third straight Southeast Division
title with an 85-82 victory over Washington.
Mourning ended with nine points and five blocked shots, and was in the lineup
for O’Neal, who was late getting back to Miami after his grandfather’s funeral
Antoine Walker had 19 points and Dwyane Wade added 16 for the Heat, who won
for the fourth time in six games and prevented Washington of any chance to
rally in the final week-plus to possibly overtake them for the division crown.
The Heat, who were coming off back-to-back losses to Charlotte, also got 10
points from Eddie Jones.
Wade threw an underhanded pass in the lane to Mourning, who jammed with 1:23
remaining for an 83-82 Miami edge. Mourning then altered a shot from DeShawn
Stevenson, and Wade went 1-of-2 at the foul line with 29.3 seconds left.
Antonio Daniels then tried a three-pointer from the right corner, but Mourning
came up with a block. The Wizards retained possession with just 6.2 seconds
left, including a second on the shot clock. Jones then stripped the ball from
Antawn Jamison, causing a shot-clock violation.
Michael Doleac made one foul shot with five seconds left, and Donell Taylor’s
three-point try failed at the buzzer for the Wizards.
Washington struggled by shooting 39.3 percent from the field.
Brendan Haywood had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Washington, which extended
its season-high losing streak to six. The Wizards clinched a postseason spot
Tuesday, but a night later saw themselves lose to the Heat for the 15th time
in the last 16 regular season meetings.
Miami led 25-21 after one period, but was limited to 10 points in the second
quarter and trailed by two at the half.
Washington led by as many as seven in the third, at 48-41, but Miami scored
the next 10 points, capped by a Walker three-point play. It was 62-60 Heat
going into the fourth and the game remained tight until the end.
A groin injury kept Udonis Haslem out for the Heat…This is Miami’s seventh
division title overall…Jarvis Hayes had 13 points and Jamison 11 for
Washington…Miami remains entrenched as the fourth seed in the Eastern
Conference, while Washington is sixth…Wade also had seven assists, six
rebounds and seven turnovers.