Playing without LeBron James and Chris Bosh who were sitting out due to rest in preparation for the playoffs, Miami had seemingly given up on the quest for the #1 seed in the East, taking any pressure off of the Indiana Pacers to win their final regular season game in Orlando.
The Wizards simply brought twice as much effort, intensity, care and skill than the Heat put on the floor tonight. The Heat played well to begin the game, and were only down one after the first quarter. But the second quarter saw the Heat slip defensively, and they gave 43 points in the second quarter en route to trailing 70-48 at halftime. The Wizards shot 70% in the first half, including 10-16 on three-pointers.
The game was already over, as the rotation was already spread out with Spoelstra playing 12 different players and not necessarily looking to push anyone extra for the win. It seemed as though Miami was simply hoping to get Dwyane Wade some more run for rhythm, while resting the over used James and Bosh.
The second half was more of the same, and Spo pulled Wade midway through the third quarter, and it was clear, let's get this over with. The Wizards had the lead up to 36 points at one point. The unit of Michael Beasley and James Jones helped shorten the deficit in the fourth quarter. Justin Hamilton played a career-high 23 minutes. Beasley led the Heat in scoring with 18 points.
It was mostly a defensive problem for the Heat. The Wizards got a lot of open shots, they shot exceptionally well, but they weren't contested on many of them. The Wizards shot over 60% for the entire game and knocked down 14 three-pointers. Washington is nearing wrapping up the #6 seed in the Eastern Conference, just needing one more win or a loss from the Charlotte Bobcats.
In the end, the Wizards had a 114-93 win over the Heat. Wade played 18 minutes and had 9 points on 4-9 shooting with 3 assists. The Heat have lost 9 of 12 on the road, and are 11-13 in their last 24 games.
Not much to see or rear about here, people. The Heat didn't come to play in this one, and it seemed as though the clock couldn't go fast enough. In fact, if you watched the whole game, congrats, you are probably in the minority with me.
The Heat play their final game of the regular season at home on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The playoffs will then start on either Saturday or Sunday the following weekend for Miami.