Regular Season Series (Game 3 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

Wizards 112

(30-30, 9-19 away)

Heat 118

(40-20, 23-6 home)

7:30 PM ET, March 8, 2006

AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, FL

1 2 3 4 T
WSH 22 35 34 21112
MIA 26 26 34 32118

Top Performers

WSH: C. Butler 19 Pts, 12 Reb, 4 Ast, 1 Stl, 1 Blk

Mia: D. Wade 40 Pts, 3 Reb, 5 Ast, 3 Stl

Wade nets 40 in return as Heat beat Wizards

MIAMI (AP) -- There was no way Dwyane Wade was going to miss a game against the Washington Wizards.

Wade returned to score 40 points and lead the Miami Heat to their 10th straight win, a 118-112 victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night.

Wade, who missed the previous two games with a sprained right wrist, has scored 115 points in three games this season against Washington. His running jumper in the lane gave Miami a 114-112 lead with 21 seconds left.

"That was the first time I ever called an open isolation against a 2-3 zone," Heat coach Pat Riley said. "He's a remarkable player and I'm glad to have him on my team."

Wade said he could played in Monday night's win at Charlotte, but chose to rest a bit more.

"Having five days off helped me come out with a lot of energy," Wade said. "It is tough to be able to play games like this, down to the end. This is what you need come playoff time."

Jason Williams scored 21 points and Shaquille O'Neal added 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat.

Gilbert Arenas scored 28 points, and Antawn Jamison, Caron Butler and Antonio Daniels each had 19 for the Wizards, who lost for the fifth time in six games. Washington has dropped 11 straight -- 15 counting playoffs -- to Miami.

"There's always that one team that dominates another team," Arenas said. "For us to beat them, we have to play a perfect game."

Following a timeout, Jamison was fouled going to the basket by Miami's Shandon Anderson. Jamison missed both free throws, and he quickly picked up a loose ball foul to foul out. Wade sank both free throws to open a four-point Miami lead with 14 seconds remaining.

"He is one of the best players in the league and he is only 24. That's scary," Butler said. "The way he absorbs the contact going to the rim, and then finding a way to finish is unbelievable."

On the ensuing possession, Butler lost the ball out of bounds. Williams then sank two free throws to clinch the game for Miami.

"It's very important to execute down the stretch and get the stops, but by the same token, we want to put the games away a little earlier," said Miami's Udonis Haslem, who had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Antoine Walker's two baskets, including a 3-pointer, sparked Miami's 11-2 run that gave the Heat a 99-98 lead with 7:12 left. That was the first of seven lead changes and four ties in the fourth quarter.

"If we continue to play like that, we are going to be a pretty good team to finish the season," said Washington coach Eddie Jordan, whose team lost in overtime at Boston a night earlier.

Washington took a 91-86 lead into the final period. Wade scored 15 points in the third quarter, when Daniels and Jamison each had 10 for the Wizards.

Etan Thomas came off the Wizards bench in the second quarter to score 10 points and grab four rebounds, helping Washington build a 57-52 halftime lead. Wade led Miami with 17 points in the half.

Wade hit his first shot, a 3-pointer just 15 seconds into the game, en route to scoring 12 points that helped Miami take a 26-22 lead after one quarter.

"He always brings his 'A' game against us," Jamison said. "He plays well every night, but he has had some spectacular games against the Wizards."

Game notes

Miami center Alonzo Mourning (sprained left foot) did not dress. His status was day to day. ... Shooting guard Daniels made his 11th start of the season for Washington. ... A large part of the Miami crowd chanted "MVP! MVP!" before Wade stepped to the line and missed a foul shot with 2:02 left in the third quarter. Up to that point, the Heat were 17-of-17 from the free-throw line. ... The Wizards lost 104-101 in overtime at Miami on Dec. 11, when Wade scored a season-high 41 points.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 112 118
FGM-FGA 39-83 (.470) 39-75 (.520)
3PM-3PA 7-19 (.368) 9-22 (.409)
FTM-FTA 27-33 (.818) 31-41 (.756)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-38 10-38
Assists 15 22
Turnovers 13 13
Steals 8 6
Blocks 2 5
Fast Break Points 12 20
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 31 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
Largest Lead 8 7

Top Performers

Caron Butler Butler
Points: 19
Reb: 12
Ast: 4
Stl: 1
Blk: 1
Dwyane Wade Wade
Points: 40
Reb: 3
Ast: 5
Stl: 3
Blk: 0