Dwyane Wade plays the post against Bradley Beal. - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
With stinging defeats against the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards fresh in their minds, the Miami Heat jumped out early against the hapless Wizards and never looked back.
Breakout game for Haslem
He'll never be the guy he was before tearing a ligament in his left foot early in the 2010-11 season, but if Udonis Haslem can put together more performances like Saturday's it would go a long way in shoring up the Heat's frontcourt deficiency. Haslem hit a few of the midrange jumpers that used to be his specialty and hauled in three offensive rebounds, something the Heat (the league's second-worst offensive rebounding team) could use more of. His numbers this year have been underwhelming, but on a team severely lacking in the size department, Haslem will get every chance to earn a prominent role in the rotation.
James extends 20+ streak
LeBron James shot over 50 percent for the 10th straight game and increased his streak of scoring at least 20 points to 26 games. James had just seven points in the first half, but a 16-point third quarter allowed the reigning MVP to continue his streak and watch the entire fourth quarter from the bench.
Heat allow season-low 72
Before the game turned into a blowout, the Heat showed a commitment to defending the three-point line, closing out on would-be-threes with a greater sense of urgency. Miami, which has allowed opponents to shoot 44.5 percent from the field this season, held the Wizards to 37.5 percent shooting and forced 21 turnovers. Those numbers are partially attributable to the Wizards' dearth of talent, but the Heat allowed 105 points to most of the same guys 11 days ago. The 72 points allowed were a season-low for Miami.
Miami bench struggles
If you're looking for something to nitpick, look no further than the Heat bench, which shot just 4-for-16 in the first half. Not that it mattered against what was left of the Wizards' injury-ravaged roster. Mike Miller went down with what appeared to be an abdominal injury in the second quarter, but he returned later in the game and looked (relatively) fine. Miami shot just 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) from beyond the arc.
Pittman does some things
Seldom-used center Dexter Pittman, who had played just one minute of the 2012-13 season entering Saturday, rebounded his own miss and converted a baby hook from the right block late in the game and added another bucket in the waning seconds. Pittman added three rebounds during his six minutes. Baby steps.
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