Dwyane Wade scored 20 points for Miami, which hasn’t dropped three straight regular-season games since Jan. 10-13, 2012. The Heat (2-2) had 32 assists on 37 field goals, including on all nine of their baskets in the third quarter.
Including playoffs, the Heat are now 100 games over .500 at home since the start of the 2010-11 season — 127-27.
Miami’s last three-game slide was against Boston in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, a series the Heat won in seven games.
With two defeats in three games to open this season, Sunday marked only the second time since James, Bosh and Wade teamed up that they took the court with a losing regular-season record. The other was after their first game together in October 2010.
Washington’s Trevor Ariza got hot to start the fourth, as the Wizards turned what looked like a runaway into a game again. Ariza missed all eight of his shots in the first three quarters, then had four baskets — three of them 3-pointers — in the first 4:48 of the final period as the Wizards got within 91-80.
Mario Chalmers had eight assists for the Heat.
Ariza and Martell Webster each scored 13 points for Washington, which got 11 points and nine assists from John Wall.
Before the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said the early struggles this season were simply a matter of Miami not clicking at times.
That wasn’t an issue Sunday.
James got it going early for Miami, scoring 14 points in the first quarter and connecting on all three of his 3-point tries in that period. All five Miami starters got into the scoring act early, and the bench added 12 points in the second quarter as the Heat extended the lead.
About all the Heat could really complain about in this one was the opening minutes, in which they found themselves in a 9-2 deficit, continuing a trend of falling behind early. Miami trailed 9-2 against Chicago at home in the season-opener, then 19-0 (and 26-4) at Philadelphia, then 11-3 at Brooklyn.
Sunday’s deficit didn’t last long.
A 14-2 run over a 5-minute stretch of the opening quarter put the Heat up by five and the margin grew throughout, starting with 33-27 after 12 minutes, 61-48 at halftime and 87-64 entering the final period.