WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall had 18 points and 10 assists and Bradley Beal added 18 more as the Washington Wizards sent the injury-ravaged Miami Heat to their sixth loss in seven games, 106-87 on Wednesday night.
Miami played without Dwayne Wade, who was scratched with shoulder soreness about a half-hour before the game. Halfway through the second quarter, starting center Hassan Whiteside abruptly fell to the floor and with a strained left oblique and did not return to the game.
Down to nine players, 33-year-old Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 11 points in 21 minutes — six more than he had played in his previous 14 games this season.
One of the Heat’s remaining players, Luol Deng, who had scored 16 points, left the floor with 2:25 remaining, holding a towel to his face.
Chris Bosh had 18 points for Miami.
Washington never trailed, and took a 51-37 lead at halftime.
PARITY: The Southeast Division is by far the tightest division in the NBA. Entering Wednesday’s games, just 5 ½ games separate the five teams.
"This is what you want as a professional," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "You want your games to matter. It feels the way it should. Every single game has significance to it."
Washington coach Randy Wittman pays attention to the standings.
"I think everybody understands where they stand, not only within the division, but where you’re at within the league. You get to this point in this season, those things start to develop," Wittman said.
Heat: F/C Jarnell Stokes, who has spent most of the season with the D-League Sioux Falls Skyforce, played his first game with Miami and scored four points. Stokes was acquired from Memphis in November. … F/C Chris Andersen missed his fourth game with a sore left knee. … G Goran Dragic has missed five games with a strained left calf. … G Beno Udrih (strained neck) was out for the third straight game.
Wizards: F Kris Humphries (sore right knee) missed his eighth game. … F Otto Porter (sore right hip) has been out for four games and F Drew Gooden (sore left calf) missed his third game. … They’re 4-0 with Nene in the starting lineup. He had 16 points in 25 minutes.
Miami: Visit the Toronto Raptors on Friday
Washington: Host the Utah Jazz on Saturday.
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