Wizards feel the need for speed, beat Heat

Tue Dec 8, 2015 12:30am EST
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(Reuters) - The Washington Wizards shrugged off the absence of three front court players to defeat the Miami Heat 114-103 on Monday at American Airlines Arena.

Describing how the Wizards had dismantled what had been the NBA's No. 1 defense in terms of lowest shooting percentage allowed, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said: "Speed, speed, smaller lineup, smaller lineup, more speed.

"It felt like they were going downhill most of the game, and we couldn't get them to flatten out."

The Wizards were without center Marcin Gortat, who was back in Poland with his sick mother, and forwards Nene and Drew Gooden, who both have calf injuries.

In addition, three Wizards played hurt -- John Wall (knee), Gary Neal (groin) and Kris Humphries (ankle).

Wall and Neal, though, did not look hurt.

Wall had 26 points and seven assists, and Neal contributed 21 points off the bench.

"John is one of the toughest players I've ever seen," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said of Wall.

"It takes a lot for him to miss a game. If you remember last year in the playoffs, it took five broken bones in his hand before he was going to sit out a game."   Continued...

Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra (right), Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh (center) and guard Gerald Green (left) react to a traveling call during the second half against the Washington Wizards at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports