Basketball: Heat Boost Win Streak To 12 Edging Out Wizards

19 Dec

WASHINGTON: LeBron James scored 32 points and added seven rebounds and six assists as the Miami Heat rallied in the final seconds to edge Washington 95-94 and extend their NBA win streak to 12 games.

Dwyane Wade, who hit the deciding free throw with 7.9 seconds remaining and Chris Bosh each scored 20 points for the Heat. Bosh, who scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, also had nine rebounds.

Nick Young scored 30 points and Andray Blatche added 20 points and 12 rebounds but late turnovers and missed free throws left the Wizards frustrated and mired in a seven-game losing skid.

The Heat improved to 21-8, second only to Boston in the Eastern Conference, while the Wizards fell to 6-19, worst in the conference.

US President Barack Obama had been expected to attend the game at one point in the afternoon but extra security precautions were withdrawn hours before the game as he did not make an appearance, missing a stellar rally by the Heat.

James stole the ball and slammed down a breakaway dunk to pull Miami within 89-86 but the Wizards answered with 32 seconds to play on a jumper by Josh Howard, making his season debut after missing 24 games with a torn left knee ligament.

Bosh answered with a 3-pointer to pull the Heat within 91-89 but Howard hit a key free throw, grabbed his own miss from the line and sank 1-of-2 from the line again after being fouled to give Washington a 93-89 edge.

Bosh was fouled on a 3-point attempt by Blatche with 16 seconds to play and the Miami forward went 2-of-3 from the line to lift the Heat within 93-91.

But Young lost the inbounds pass and after the turnover, Young fouled Miami's James Jones, who sank two free throws with 13 seconds remaining to pull the Heat level at 93-93.

Kirk Hinrich, the first Wizard to play every minute of a game since 2007, hit 1-of-2 from the line with 12 seconds to play.

But Wade was fouled on a drive to the hoop with 7.9 seconds to play and made two free throws to give Miami a 95-94 lead, their first advantage since early in the third quarter.

Hinrich missed a last shot and Miami's win streak remained intact while Washington's futility continued in heartbreaking fashion.

Blatche sank a jumper at the buzzer to give the Wizards a 74-72 lead after three quarters and ignite a 10-2 Washington run that put the hosts ahead 82-74 as late as 6:20 from the finish.

Chris Bosh had a basket and a free throw as Miami pulled within 84-77 but the Heat struggled to close the gap as Hilton Armstrong blocked a Dwyane Wade shot inside and LeBron James was called for a charging foul.

Bosh rebounded a blocked Wade shot to pull Miami within 84-79 with 4:10 to play. Washington's Blatche hit a free throw but Bosh answered with two of his own from the line to trim the deficit to 85-81 with 3:32 remaining.

James missed a 3-pointer on Miami's next possession and Young answered for the Wizards with a jumper.

James followed with two free throws for Miami but Blatche hit a jumper to give Washington an 89-83 edge with 2:10 to play setting up the final drama.


Channel News Asia


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