After Marcin Gortat made the first shot of the night in the Washington Wizards' meeting with the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh threw a lazy in-bounds pass that Trevor Booker stole. Booker then took a layup that Bosh goal-tended, giving the Wizards a quick 4-0 lead.
Fortunately, Miami soon reversed course.
Despite falling behind 9-2 early, the Heat avoided the early woes that have plagued the two-time defending champions early this year. Miami put up 33 points in the first quarter and built a 23-point lead at home against Washington, holding on for a 103-93 victory. The offense was very crisp, as Miami registered multiple instances of good ball movement that led to wide-open 3s or layups.
The Heat shot 11-of-27 from beyond the arc, which is even more surprising considering that Ray Allen and Shane Battier went a combined zero-for-six from downtown. LeBron James made three 3s during a two-minute span of the first quarter that gave Miami a lead it would never relinquish. Norris Cole shot an impressive 3-of-4 from 3-point range, proving yet again that he has improved leaps and bounds with his shooting since his rookie year.
The Big Three, though, led the charge for Miami. Wade came off his 21-point performance against Brooklyn to finish with 20 against Washington, making several nice cuts to the basket throughout the night. After shooting 10-of-11 from the line against the Nets, Wade shot a dismal 4-of-8 from the charity stripe tonight. Wade also turned the ball over five times, partly due to a somewhat lackadaisical performance in the fourth quarter. James committed six turnovers tonight, including two consecutive mishaps in the first quarter. He shot 9-of-14 from the field to lead Miami with 25 points to go along with five assists, however.
Bosh had a solid game and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds in 31 minutes. He scored five straight points for Miami after the Wizards cut the Heat lead to 11, keeping Washington at bay. The Georgia Tech standout made two 3-pointers and shot an efficient 8-of-12 overall.
No one else scored in double figures, but the Heat's point guards gave another good performance. Mario Chalmers' three steals and eight assists buttressed Cole's long-range shooting, and Erik Spoelstra even played both point guards on the floor together. Chris Andersen added eight points and five rebounds in 17 minutes of action.
Keeping up with his rotation, Spoelstra again went to Rashard Lewis for a few minutes in the first half. Lewis gave a solid effort, playing passable defense, helping Miami's ball movement and even making a 3. But it remains interesting that Spoelstra has not instead gone to Michael Beasley, a more dynamic player. Perhaps Lewis' 3-point shooting puts him ahead of Beasley in the rotation.
The Heat will visit the Toronto Raptors for a 7 o'clock meeting and try to improve to 3-2 on the season.