- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 9, 2006

MIAMI — Want to put a scare into the Washington Wizards?

Just mention the name “Dwyane Wade.”

The Miami star continued his mastery of the Wizards, scoring a game-high 40 points and adding five assists in a 118-112 win that increased the Heat’s dominance over Washington to 15 games in a row.

“I don’t know what his points-per-game average against us is, but it’s really up there,” said Washington’s Antawn Jamison, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds but missed two crucial late free throws.

It is up there. In three victories against the Wizards this season, Wade is averaging 38.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals.

In sending the Wizards to their fifth loss in their last six games — and their seventh loss in their last eight road games — Wade saved his best for last.

The last of 28 lead changes last night came when Wade used his size advantage over Gilbert Arenas (who scored a team-high 28 points) to create just enough space to hit an off-balance 7-footer with 21.6 seconds left.

After Jamison missed the first of two free throws on the Wizards’ ensuing possession — he was fouled by Shandon Anderson while attempting a dunk with 15.5 seconds left — he deliberately tried to miss the second, hoping he or another teammate might get the rebound.

But that rebound — and ultimately the 10th consecutive win for the Heat — went to Wade.

“Maybe [Heat assistant coach] Ron Rothstein has a voodoo doll,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said after his team slipped back to .500 for the first time in 13 games. “But I’m proud of my guys. I’m proud of the way we performed and competed. If we continue to play like that we are going to be a good team to the finish of the season.”

The Wizards will get one more crack at the Heat when they return to Verizon Center next month. But last night was a lost opportunity. After scoring 34 points in the third quarter, they made just four field goals in the fourth. Still, they managed to stay in control of the game until the late stages.

“We were in it all the way to the end,” Washington’s Antonio Daniels said. “It just came down to some crucial plays at the end. It’s been like that a lot lately. We just have to come together as a team and find ways to win games like this. It’s coming. But it has to happen very soon.”

Daniels finished with a season-high 19 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor. He also was 8-for-8 from the free throw line.

Caron Butler added 19 points, 12 rebounds and four assists. Washington also got some good performances off the bench from Etan Thomas (10 points, seven rebounds) and rookie Andray Blatche, who showed there is some skill in that long, under-muscled body of his, finishing with seven points in just less than 13 minutes.

For Miami, point guard Jason Williams finished with 21 points, five assists and no turnovers. Shaquille O’Neal finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and power forward Udonis Haslem added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

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