WASHINGTON – While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade chilled at the end of the bench – and with Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem also out of the lineup – the Miami Heat’s B-squad set a franchise record for three-point attempts, broke the franchise record for victories in a season and clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
So, here’s the matter for debate. If they can beat the Washington Wizards – a lottery team trying to finish ninth – how would the what-was-left-over of the Heat rank among all NBA teams?
Most definitely we would be a playoff team, said Rashard Lewis, who scored 17 points in Wednesday’s 103-98 win. Probably not a top-three team, but I think anywhere from there we’d be fighting for a playoff spot, just because we’ve got a lot of veterans on the team, a lot of smart guys on the team that know how to play the game.
The Heat committed a season-high 25 turnovers and chucked up the ball AAU-style, shooting 41 three-pointers and making 17.
Still, that was enough to get the win that assures they’ll finish better than the Western Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs.
The Heat, who have won four straight, also reached 62 wins for the first time, moving one ahead of the 1996-97 team.
HAWKS 124, 76ERS 101: In Philadelphia, Josh Smith had 28 points and 12 rebounds, John Jenkins added 21 points as Atlanta rolled. Mike Scott contributed 17.
MAGIC 113, BUCKS 103, OT: In Orlando, Fla., Nik Vucevic had 30 points and 20 rebounds, Tobias Harris added 30 points and 19 rebounds, and Orlando rallied for an overtime victory.
NETS 101, CELTICS 93: In Boston, Deron Williams had 29 points and 12 assists, Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 20 for Brooklyn, which won for the 12 time in 18 games overall and beat Boston for the third time in four meetings this season.
SUNS 102, MAVERICKS 91: In Dallas, P.J. Tucker scored 17 points, including two crucial baskets in the closing minutes, and Phoenix pushed the Mavericks to the brink of playoff elimination for the first time since 2000.
PISTONS 111, CAVALIERS 104: In Cleveland, Andre Drummond scored a career-high 29 points and Detroit won a second straight game for the first time in two months.