John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
The Heat's Big 3 were incredible in the first quarter and then watched from the bench late in the game as the Wizards came back to beat Miami in preseason action.
With Mario Chalmers and Udonis Haslem back into the fold after injuries had held them out during the entire preseason, the Miami Heat looked whole again as they also welcomed back Dwyane Wade after a one-game absence to rest.
Sure enough, the Big 3 were absolutely dominant early on as they raced ahead to a 12-1 lead. Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James at one point were a perfect 11-11 from the field along with 7 assists and scored all the team's points several minutes into the first quarter. By the time the first quarter ended, the superstar trio had combined to score 30 of the team's 32 points with Wade scoring a dozen points, Bosh collecting ten and LeBron contributing eight points. Unfortunately, the Wizards started to get hot from the field and managed to cut their deficit down to six points.
The team cruised ahead to score 61 points in the first half but their lead quickly disappeared at the outset of the second half with 4 early turnovers not helping the cause. While Chalmers had his moments guiding the offense, Norris Cole continued his uneven play on both ends of the floor during the preseason even as he shifted to his more comfortable role as Mario's backup. Haslem's jumper was understandably rusty in his return, but his weak shooting last season is hopefully just an aberration as he looks to get his midrange jumper back.
Of the Heat bench players, only Ray Allen was solid with 4-8 shooting and 2-2 beyond the arc. The rest of the reserves went a combined 2-16 from the floor with former Wizards player Rashard Lewis taking a step back from a pair of solid games and went scoreless aside from a single free throw. Rodney Carney was awful in his 9 minutes of action, creating unforced turnovers and consistently late on defensive rotations. He is likely the next cut on the team alongside Jarvis Varnado, who hasn't played yet.
The Big 3 mostly rested in the fourth quarter as the Heat let their lead evaporate in the final quarter, save for a late appearance by Wade playing in tandem with Allen. That didn't stop the hot shooting Wizards led by Martell Webster and Chris Singleton to grab the lead and keep it in the closing moments.