Dave Johnson: Heat Keep Wizards Winless On The Road

Dave Johnson: Heat Keep Wizards Winless On The Road
November 30, 2010, 3:26 am
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Monday, November 29, 2010 10:24 p.m.


By Dave Johnson
CSNWashington.comMiami-Against a Miami Heat team, fresh off a players-only meeting, the undermanned Wizards had little room for error. It showed. The Wizards remained close, but the Heat stayed in control to pull away for a 105-94 victory."We had a couple of dry spells," said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. "In a 48-minute game, we played about seven minutes of bad basketball where we just couldn't score. They built a cushion in those spots and played off of it."The victory was a welcome relief to the Heat who entered the game with the same record (9-8) as last season but with far higher expectation after their dramatic off season. A loss on Saturday to the Mavericks had triggered a forty minute players-only post game meeting.For the Heat it was tale of two halves and two superstars. In the first half LeBron James scored 20 of his game-high 30 points, while in the second half Dwyane Wade took over and scored 22 of his 26 points. Chirrs Bosh added 20 points to round out "the big three's" big night.The Wizards again were in a state of flux. JaVale McGee, still bothered by the effects of a foul by the Sixers Elton Brand last week, did not start because of back spasms. John Wall, Al Thornton, and Yi Jianlian also remained sidelined with injuries. McGee did come off the bench and had 10 points and 10 rebounds.Andray Blatche almost had his fifth double-double of the season and led the Wizards with 26 points and 9 rebounds. From the start Blatche did not settle for jump shots and was 10 of 14 from the free throw line including 4 of 5 in the first quarter.While Blatche was attacking the inside, Gilbert Arenas provided the punch from the outside and finished with 23 points. Arenas also had 7 of the Wizards 14 assists, but in general ball movement was a problem as the Heat played the passing lanes and disrupted possessions with deflections.Nick Young did not have his typical shooting touch, 4 of 15 from the field, but still added 13 points helped by aggressive drives to the basket that resulted in a 5 of 6 mark from the free throw line. Young also turned n some impressive defensive stretches against James.In a game that had its physical moments, the Heat's ability to get to the free throw early was critical to their success. At half-time James was 8 of 10 from the free throw line. The Wizards at the break only had 10 free throw attempts as team. The Heat finished with a plus-12 advantage in made free throws.The game was not lacking in intensity. In the closing seconds of the third quarter the Wizards Hilton Armstrong received a flagrant 2 foul as he denied Joel Anthony a slam dunk. The Heat's Juwan Howard was then ejected for pushing Armstrong from behind after the foul against Anthony.Armstrong might have to miss Wednesday's game against the Raptors because of the flagrant 2 foul. The Wizards will practice in Toronto on Tuesday with an eye toward getting some of their injured players back on the court and ready for game action."We are getting tired and we are getting beat up," Saunders added. "We have been playing every other day and traveling every other day. We need to get guys healthy."The Wizards are now 0-8 on the road at that matches the team record for consecutive road losses to start the season st in 20052006.