NBA News Wire
Butler, Wall lead Wizards past Heat
WASHINGTON — Even a Big 3 would not have helped the Miami Heat slow down the Southeast Division-leading Washington Wizards.
Swingman Rasual Butler scored 23 points and guard John Wall had 18 points and 13 assists as the Washington Wizards blitzed the Miami Heat for a 107-86 victory on Monday night.
Center Marcin Gortat had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Wizards (10-5), who led the Heat by as many as 25 points and by double digits throughout.
Butler made three 3-pointers off the bench to help the Wizards to their largest margin of victory this season. Washington had 29 assists on 39 field goals and Wall’s 13 topped Miami’s combined total of 12.
Center Chris Bosh scored 21 points and guard Dwyane Wade had 20 points for the Heat (9-8). Miami had won three of its last four games, including an 86-79 victory on the road against the New York Knicks Sunday.
Whether from tired legs or Washington’s relentless defense, the Heat labored shooting from beyond the arc. Miami did shoot 60 percent from the field before halftime, but finished 2 of 22 on 3-point shots, missing all 12 attempts in the second half. The Heat entered as the top 3-point shooting percentage team in the league,
Miami also went 18 of 30 from the free throw line, yet guarding Wall and the Wizards was the toughest challenge. Washington made all seven of its 3-point attempts in the first half and drained 10 overall.
“To win against a quality opponent, to give yourself a chance to win on the road, you have to have grittiness, a real disposition,” Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said. “It was much different than our disposition in New York.”
As the season nears the quarter-pole, Bosh prefers less talk and more action.
“I hate that word, disposition. It’s not about disposition,” Bosh stated. “It’s just about — I don’t know, man. It’s about getting the job done. That’s it. We make mistakes trying to have vocabulary and stuff. Just get the job done. Go out there. We’re failing to do that.”
Washington has won two straight, both without Nene, and improved to 7-2 at home.
Led by Butler, the Wizards’ bench tallied 54 points.
“A lot of people contributed from the bench and I’m glad that we really played the game the right way,” Gortat said.
Drafted by the Heat in 2002, the 35-year-old Butler made Washington’s roster out of training camp. He has scored 23 points in two of his last three games.
“The guy was drafted [by Miami] and they let him go,” Gortat noted. “What other motivation do you need?
The energetic Wizards led 30-22 after the first quarter and opened the second with a 7-0 run and scored a season-high 64 points in the first half. The margin never dipped back into single digits and ballooned to 95-70 in the fourth quarter. Wall recorded a double-double in the first half and sat out the final period.
“Every time we tried, they made shots,” Wade said. “Whether it was a defensive breakdown, or whether they just continued to make shots. They earned the win. They wanted it, and they got it.”
The Heat, winners of four straight Southeast Division titles, defeated the Wizards at home on Oct. 29 in the opening game of the season for both teams.
Wade missed seven games with a left hamstring injury before scoring 27 points in Sunday’s win at New York. The All-Star guard and Bosh combined to shoot 18 of 27 from the field. Their teammates went 15 of 45.
The Wizards shot 64 percent (24 of 38) from the field in the first half. Wall had 11 points and 10 assists entering halftime. He banked in a 3-pointer ending the first quarter, and his fade-away jumper at the buzzer gave Washington a 64-49 halftime lead.
“Against those guys you definitely have to move the ball a lot,” Wall said. “We wasn’t caring about who was getting shots.”
Notes: Nene missed his fourth straight game (right plantar fasciitis) and fifth this season. The power forward was suspended for the 107-95 loss at Miami. … Guard Mario Chalmers had 11 points for the Heat. … The Wizards recorded nine wins in November, their most in any month since March of 2012. … Dwyane Wade scored 21 points in the Heat’s 107-95 home win over the Wizards on Oct. 29. … Miami returns home to face the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday before embarking on a five-game road trip. … The Wizards host Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
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