Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Trevor Ariza netted a game-high 25 points on 10-of-13 shooting as the Washington Wizards rolled to a 114-93 victory over the depleted Miami Heat at Verizon Center.
Miami, which rested both reigning NBA MVP LeBron James as well as All-Star center Chris Bosh in its second-to-last game prior to the playoffs, surrendered the Eastern Conference's top seed to the Indiana Pacers with its fourth loss in five outings.
The Heat allowed the Wizards to shoot a robust 59 percent from the field and go 14-of-29 from 3-point range, with Ariza knocking down 5-of-8 trey attempts and Al Harrington hitting 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in a 16-point effort off the bench.
Nene and Bradley Beal contributed 18 and 15 points, respectively, to Washington's third consecutive win, with Marcin Gortat posting a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
"I want them to continue, even with one game left, to build and use that game as something positive going into the playoffs," said Wizards head coach Randy Wittman.
Michael Beasley paced the shorthanded Heat with 18 points and Toney Douglas scored 14 in defeat. Dwyane Wade, playing for the second time since returning from a nine-game absence caused by an injured hamstring, had just nine points in 18-plus minutes.
"Not too many takeaways we can take from tonight other than the fact that we got Dwyane out there, got him some game time, some game conditioning but even that wasn't a whole lot," said Miami coach Erik Spoelstra.
After Harrington's first 3-pointer of the night gave Washington a 27-26 edge after one quarter, the Wizards began to pull away by putting together a 20-3 run in the second. Nene poured in eight points during the spurt and Harrington sank two more triples, the last staking the Wizards to a 49-34 advantage midway through the period.
Washington continued to extend the margin, with the lead swelling to 61-39 following a Nene jumper 3:42 prior to halftime. The Wizards cruised into the breaking owning a comfortable 70-48 cushion, shooting a scorching 70.3 percent over the initial two quarters.
The Wizards kept pouring it on in the third quarter, going ahead by as much as 36 points and taking a commanding 98-65 lead into the fourth.
Miami outscored Washington by a 28-16 count in the final frame to make the outcome more respectable, with Beasley recording 13 points for the stanza.
The Wizards currently own the sixth seed in the East and can rise up to fifth by beating Boston on Wednesday and if Brooklyn loses its final two games. If Washington loses to the Celtics and Charlotte defeats Chicago on Wednesday, the Wizards will be seeded seventh and face the Heat in the opening round ... Miami has now lost in four of its last five visits to the Verizon Center, including both meetings this season ... Wade tallied 24 points in just 23 minutes in Saturday's loss at Atlanta ... The Heat conclude their regular- season against Philadelphia on Wednesday ... Washington finished its home schedule with a 22-19 record.