- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Banking in a 3-pointer while being fouled with 0.9 seconds on the clock, John Wall summed up the backslapping, laugh-filled evening for the Wizards.

Wall even fell face-first to the floor at the end of the first quarter following the foul and the benevolent result of his too-strong jumper. Luck had sidled up to the Wizards to combine with the Miami Heat’s wayward 3-point shooting. The duo produced the Wizards’ most lopsided win of the season, a 107-86 thumping of the Heat which advanced Washington to 11-5.

“Probably our best game from start to finish,” Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.

Expanding the list of what went right for the Wizards, the most prodigious list of its kind this season, was Rasual Butler’s evening in the sun. Bradley Beal found respite on the bench early because of two fouls. In came Butler.

Two slots of ahead of Rasual Butler in the 2002 NBA draft, Federico Kammerichs was selected. Also a small forward, Kammerichs was picked 51st overall by the Portland Trail Blazers. He never played a game in the NBA.

Next was Marcus Taylor, a point guard out of Michigan State. He did not play an NBA game.

Then came Butler, a senior out of La Salle. The Miami Heat picked him with just five selections remaining in the draft. Twelve years later, Butler filled the 15th, and final, spot on the Wizards’ roster out of camp. He stepped on the Heat’s hopes Monday night.

Corner 3-pointers went down. Butler drove on Dwyane Wade and scored. He shot over Shabazz Napier.

Erik Spoelstra was an assistant with the Heat when it drafted Butler. They spent three seasons together.

“You can’t have nothing but respect for Rasual Butler,” Spoelstra said. “We had him when he was very young. He is an absolute pro. You root for guys like that and there is a reason why he has been in the league so long.”

Meanwhile, Wall zipped around the floor. He had a double-double by the end of the first half before finishing with a season-high tying 13 assists. He pinned the Heat to the dissection table and carved.

“We really played the game the right way,” Marcin Gortat said. “John was outstanding. He was finding people all the time and he was picking them apart. We really played together as a team. Hopefully, we’re going to grow as a team from that win.”

So much went right, Paul Pierce did not make a fourth-quarter appearance. DeJuan Blair scored. Andre Miller dribbled around the swiping Napier before heading hunch-shouldered to the basket. He faked a kickout pass and layed the ball in with his left hand off the glass.

The Wizards did not miss a 3-pointer in the first half. The Heat, which led the league in 3-point percentage coming into the game, made two on the evening. It missed 20. Miami was also outrebounded. It bricked 12 free throws.

For the first time this season, Washington pushed an opponent to the deck and did not help them up. The Wizards‘ largest lead was 25 points. Miami never led or appeared capable of doing so.

For a night, pleasure came, even for the ever-cantankerous Wittman.

“We played good,” Wittman said.


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