Nene, Wall lift Wizards over Heat
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Nene scored the last four Washington points off assists from John Wall, including the go-ahead layup with 0.5 seconds left, and the Wizards snapped a six-game losing streak against the Miami Heat with an 86-84 victory Saturday night.
Wall streaked into the paint to find Nene for a dunk with 46 seconds left and later orchestrated a perfect pick and roll in the final seconds, finding his teammate once again for the winning basket.
In between, Udonis Haslem thundered into the lane for a put-back dunk off Mario Chalmers' missed layup in transition to tie the game for Miami with 4.2 seconds left.
The Heat, already playing without LeBron James and Chris Bosh, lost Dwyane Wade to a dislocated left index finger early in the first quarter. They had won 12 of the previous 13 meetings against the Wizards, the last loss coming on Nov. 27, 2009.
The Southeast Division champs fell 2 1/2 games behind Chicago for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference with three games left.
Wade's finger was reset and he was "feeling fine" according to Heat coach Erik Spoelstra. X-rays were negative.
"We will have to evaluate it each day and see how he responds," said Spoelstra. "Fortunately it was his left (non-shooting) hand."
Cartier Martin scored 22 points to lead Washington while Wall had 13 points and 13 assists and Kevin Seraphin scored 17. The Wizards have won three in a row for the first time since April 1-5 last year.
Mike Miller had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Miami. Chalmers also scored 16 and Haslem had 15 rebounds.
Wade, who was playing his second straight game after missing the previous two, left after playing just 2:40. He got his hand caught up in another player's jersey and was clearly in pain as trainers worked on him.
James was out for "minor bumps and bruises" while Bosh rested for the third straight game with "minor ailments" according to Spoelstra, who said the team was trying to get better before the playoffs.
"Tonight was good for us because we had a chance to play without those guys and get a rhythm and a feel," said Miami's James Jones. "That's what this game is all about. It's about rhythm, about getting a feel for your teammates and knowing their likes and dislikes.
"Tonight was a growth night for us. We just didn't get a victory."
The Heat used an extended 21-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take their first lead of the game. Neither team led by more than three points in the last four minutes, setting up the exciting finish.
Wizards coach Randy Wittman said their final play, in which Wall used Nene's pick near the top of the key to get free, then dished it off to his teammate near the basket, was "part of the process of paying attention and executing out of a timeout."
"We couldn't have done that any better," said Wittman. "It was a heck of a find by John and Nene to get it to go down."
Wade didn't attempt a shot before leaving and Seraphin scored eight points in the first quarter for the Wizards, who shot 45 percent for a 23-15 lead.
Wall and Martin scored seven apiece in the second quarter and Washington led by as many as 11 points on Wall's dunk inside six minutes.
The Wizards carried a 45-37 lead into halftime behind Martin's 14 points while Dexter Pittman scored 10 to lead the Heat.
The Wizards pushed their advantage to 14 in the third quarter, but the Heat scored 11 straight, including the last nine on three-pointers, to pull within 57-54. Chalmers hit the first three-pointer and Jones made two in a row.
It was part of a 19-6 run to end the quarter for Miami, trimming the deficit to 63-62 entering the fourth. The Heat grabbed their first lead of the game on Miller's layup to open the final period.
The Heat had a five-game winning streak snapped and are 2-1 on a four-game homestand that ends Sunday against Houston.