- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 28, 2009

MIAMI | Antawn Jamison had watched helplessly as his teammates blew key opportunities and lost to the Miami Heat in the Washington Wizards’ first two dates with their Southeast Division foes, and he wasn’t about to let it happen again.

The Wizards, playing the Heat for the third time this season and second time in Miami, had blown a double-digit third-quarter lead, and the hosts needed only a 3-pointer to tie the game as the fourth quarter began.

But there was a scowling Jamison at midcourt, clapping, barking — anything he could think of to motivate his teammates as they took the court for the decisive quarter. The Wizards responded with an electric run and in a 94-84 victory.

The victory snapped the Wizards’ six-game losing streak to the Heat and also marked the first time since Feb. 20 that the Wizards have won two games in a row. In another first, Gilbert Arenas got his first win over Dwyane Wade after failing in his previous 19 attempts.

But Arenas wasn’t much of a factor in the game. Instead, the Wizards (5-9) rode 24 points and 13 rebounds from Jamison, and 22 points and five assists from Nick Young.

It was the second consecutive 20-plus point game for Young, who also did a commendable job defending Wade; in the teams’ first two meetings this season, Wade had torched the Wizards for a combined 81 points. But on Friday, Wade managed just 18 points on 6-for-19 shooting. Unlike his first two games against the Wizards, in which Wade got to the line 13 times apiece, the five-time All-Star took only seven free throws.

Arenas, meanwhile, recorded a season-low nine points on 4-for-7 shooting and handed out five assists. Instead, giving the Wizards a late boost off the bench was Earl Boykins, who had 10 points and nine assists and played the entire fourth quarter.

Leading 67-64 at the start of the fourth, Washington opened the quarter with a 7-0 run thanks to a hook shot by Andray Blatche, a jumper from Young and a 3-pointer from Jamison that built a 76-68 lead.

The Wizards were without Jamison for both of their losses to the Heat this season because of a shoulder injury. The two-time All-Star power forward quickly made his presence felt Friday, scoring 13 first-half points while grabbing six rebounds and leading Washington to a 51-42 halftime lead.

Jamison had eight points in a first quarter that ended with his team nursing a 26-24 lead. Washington held a 28-26 lead with 9:30 left in the second quarter when Jamison knocked down a hook shot from nine feet out. That sparked a 9-0 run that put his team ahead by nine.

The Wizards also clamped down defensively in the second quarter. After allowing the Heat to make 52.4 percent of their shots in the first quarter, Washington limited them to a paltry 7-for-21 in the second quarter.

The Wizards, meanwhile, made 11 of 21 field goal attempts and didn’t commit a single turnover in the second. Had it not been for a 4-for-11 showing from the free throw line, Washington’s lead would have been bigger.

The Wizards continued riding Jamison and Young for the first half of the third quarter and had built a 63-53 lead following a jump shot from 19 feet out from Young. But the Wizards suddenly went cold. Young committed two straight turnovers, Caron Butler had a shot blocked and Jamison was called for an offensive foul. Meanwhile, Miami went on a burst that cut the lead to 65-64 before a layup by Jamison restored the lead to three heading into the fourth quarter.