Miami, FL – LeBron James netted a game-high 24 points and handed out seven assists as the Miami Heat easily dropped the Washington Wizards, 99-71, on Sunday at American Airlines Arena.
Ray Allen knocked down 8-of-12 from the floor en route to 20 points and six rebounds, while Chris Bosh added 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for the Heat, who have won three of their last four.
Dwyane Wade hit 7-of-14 from the field for 14 points to go with seven rebounds and Mike Miller contributed 13 points off the bench in the triumph.
Kevin Seraphin scored 14 points and Cartier Martin donated 13 points for the Wizards, who have lost five straight since a win over Orlando on Dec. 28. Martell Webster gave 10 points and six rebounds in a losing effort.
"Every time we came back, we got lazy," Seraphin said. "We have to learn that every time we come back, we have to keep going to get stops."
Miami got out to a quick start, hitting each of its first six shots from the field to build an early 13-3 lead. Washington battled back with a 12-4 surge, capped by a 15-footer from Seraphin, to pull the Wizards within 17-15 with 3:22 to play in the opening frame.
The Heat, however, closed the quarter with a 10-4 run to hold a 27-19 edge after one quarter.
Bosh hit a pair of free throws early in the second session to widen the lead to 29-19, but the Wizards responded with five quick points to cut the deficit to 29-24 with 10:58 on the clock.
The defending champs kept Washington at arm's length for the duration of the quarter and a run-out slam by Bradley Beal closed the gap to 49-44, but Miller finished the opening half with a trey to give Miami a 52-44 margin at the break.
Miami maintained its lead throughout the third period, taking a 69-60 advantage into the final 12 minutes.
Jordan Crawford nailed a 9-foot jumper with 7:07 to play, pulling Washington within 78-71, but the Wizards would not score again as the Heat closed it out with a 21-0 run.
"We turned it up," Wade said of Miami's defensive intensity down the stretch. "We respond to challenges. We had our closing team in there and we just kind of put it away."
The Wizards had won three of the last four meetings between the teams ... Miami shot 46.3 percent from the floor and outscored the Wizards 30-11 in the fourth quarter ... Washington shot just 35.8 percent from the field and 7- of-14 from the free throw line.