Verizon crowd makes Wizards feel like away team

Verizon crowd makes Wizards feel like away team
October 16, 2013, 11:30 am
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Bradley Beal: We didn't get rattled

LeBron James darted down the court like a runaway truck, all 6-8 and 250 pounds of his powerful frame. 

First, he threw down a reverse dunk that brought down the house. On the next play, he had a one-handed jam and paused to let out a scream. 

Almost 14,000 fans were in a frenzy, too. The atmosphere felt like a playoff game rather than an exhibition.

Problem is, the Heat were on the road at Verizon Center -- home of the Wizards.

Without prompting, Trevor Ariza pointed out as much after the Wizards came back to win 100-82 for their first win of the preseason and hand the Heat their first loss. 

"Next time we play them, hopefully it can be like a home game for us instead of an away game at home," said Ariza, who had 13 points, nine rebounds and five assists. "I'm glad the fans came -- that supported us, or whoever they supported."

In fairness, there were significant boos from Wizards fans, who tried to drown out the support for the Heat. It just wasn't as noticeable.

"That happens when you're two-time defending champion and you have two of the best players in the league," said John Wall, alluding to Dwyane Wade as well. "They have a lot of fans that travel and support those guys. We're used to that situation."

Al Harrington isn't surprised by the reaction, even though the Heat haven't always been this celebrated since James, Wade and Chris Bosh joined forces three years ago. 

"They're America's team," joked Harrington, who is entering his 16th season. "Like a traveling rock band."

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