Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series starts 12/11

Game 1: Sunday, December 11th
Game 2: Friday, December 30th
Game 3: Wednesday, March 8th
Game 4: Saturday, April 8th

Heat 128

(18-13, 7-9 away)

Wizards 113

(12-16, 7-6 home)

Coverage: WBDC

7:00 PM ET, December 30, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, DC

1 2 3 4 T
MIA 34 27 30 37128
WSH 28 27 38 20113

Top Performers

Mia: D. Wade 34 Pts, 8 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Stl

WSH: G. Arenas 47 Pts, 7 Reb, 8 Ast

Arenas' 47 not enough as Heat defeat Wizards

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Even a career-high 47 points from Gilbert Arenas couldn't prevent the same old result. For the 14th time in a row, the Miami Heat beat the Washington Wizards.

Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal made their usual contributions to the 128-113 victory Friday night, but a new face in the one-sided rivalry made his presence known. Antoine Walker, who has been trying to find his niche in the Heat rotation, had 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists off the bench and exclaimed "I'm back!" after hitting a 3-pointer.

"I'm just trying to be as productive as possible," said Walker, who was acquired in a 13-player trade in August and entered the game averaging a career-low 12.1 points. "Every game is going to be different. It's very hard for me to say how it's going to work out or how it's going to go. We're only 30 games into the season and without a lot of practice time it's hard for coach to just completely change things."

Wade scored 34 points and made 18 of 21 free throws, and O'Neal had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Heat, who shot 55 percent and pulled away in the fourth quarter for their highest scoring output of the season. Stopping those two players is tough enough, but Walker's big game meant the team could always find someone with a hot hand.

"He was feeling real free, and we need that from him," coach Pat Riley said. "That's what we expected when we traded for him, is that we'd have that versatility. Having a great game from Antoine really helps."

Going by the book, the wrong team ran out of gas. The Heat were the stronger team down the stretch despite playing the second half of a tough back-to-back following Thursday's 106-101 loss at Detroit.

Arenas made 15 of 29 field goals and 13 of 14 free throws and carried his team through three quarters, but he went 1-for-6 in the fourth as part of a team-wide 5-for-22 slump. Wade left the crowd gasping after he blew past Antonio Daniels for a one-handed dunk, then Walker's 3-pointer started a 12-0 run that put the Heat ahead 111-98 with 5:42 to play.

"I tried to carry us early," Arenas said, "and we just couldn't get over the hump."

Arenas didn't get much help. Antawn Jamison added 20 points, but he made only 7 of 19 shots. Caron Butler scored 19 points on 4-for-15 shooting for the Wizards, who have lost two straight after winning their first three since Butler was promoted to the starting lineup.

"They're just a hard team for us to defend right now and beat," coach Eddie Jordan said. "They're better than us right now."

Michael Jordan was still playing the last time Washington beat Miami, 91-87 on April 11, 2003. The Heat have won all 10 regular season meetings since, and they also swept the Wizards in the second round of the playoffs last season.

"We're going to beat them once," Arenas said. "That's all it takes -- is one time. We're just going to keep fighting and fighting and fighting until we get 'em. That's all we can do."

There was hardly time to take a breath in a fast-paced game that featured dynamic drives by Arenas and Wade, inside-outside determination from Walker and the usual inside dominance from O'Neal.

Walker had a torrid stretch in the first half, scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 12 minutes. O'Neal got the calls in the paint throughout the game, drawing plenty of contact as he went 11-for-15 from the field and 6-for-13 from the line. Arenas matched his previous career best of 44 points with 3:57 to go in the third quarter on a three-point play in which he pumped his fist and let out a "Wooo!" as his runner dropped through the net.

But he took no solace from setting a personal record.

"I didn't help the team out in the fourth quarter," he said.

Game notes

Before the game, Riley was asked if he has changed as a coach. "I've changed, but I'm not going to tell you how," he said. "It's a little bit stratospherically philosophical." ... Jordan said he's not going to pull the reins on Jamison's long-range jumpshot, even though the forward has hit only 2 of 15 3-point attempts over the last six games. "As a coach, you sit there and you say 'I hope that's the one that goes in.' I just can't tell Antawn Jamison, who's an All-Star, not to take 3-pointer," Jordan said.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 128 113
FGM-FGA 45-82 (.549) 35-92 (.380)
3PM-3PA 6-18 (.333) 6-16 (.375)
FTM-FTA 32-44 (.727) 37-45 (.822)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 13-52 16-42
Assists 26 17
Turnovers 14 10
Steals 4 6
Blocks 3 3
Fast Break Points 4 16
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (3/0) 33 (0/0)
Largest Lead 15 2

Top Performers

Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 34
Reb: 8
Ast: 5
Stl: 2
Blk: 0
Gilbert Arenas Arenas
Points: 47
Reb: 7
Ast: 8
Stl: 0
Blk: 0