“In a short amount of minutes tonight,” James said, “he was pretty good for us.”
It was Oden’s first appearance in a regular-season game since fracturing his left kneecap while playing for the Portland Trail Blazers against the Rockets. The No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft also missed what would have been his rookie year because of a right knee injury. He has had three microfracture surgeries on his knees.
“So this is the plan and it’s got me this far,” he said. “It got me in the game.”
Norris Cole’s jumper pulled the Heat within single digits — 84-75 — with less than a minute to go in the third, but they never got any closer than nine. The Wizards had nine turnovers in the third quarter but only one in the fourth, and an alley-oop from Wall to Martell Webster put Washington up by 17 with 3:02 to play.
“We knew they were going to make a run,” Washington coach Randy Wittman said. “That’s still the best team.”