To a degree, the Miami Heat played like strangers Wednesday night. To a degree, they were. Didn't matter. Not this season, when everything Arison-Riley-Spoelstra has turned to gold. With LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Udonis Haslem given the night off due to a variety of ailments, the Heat still found a way to push past the Washington Wizards 103-98 at the Verizon Center. The payoffs? A franchise-record 62nd victory, surpassing the 61-21 record of the 1996-97 Heat team that featured Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. And, more significant to the moment, the No.1 overall playoff seed, the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder formally eliminated from that chase. "It shows," Wade said, "that we've been able to take care of business this season, that we didn't have that championship hangover." Wednesday night, the Heat did it with a starting lineup that had played all of one minute together prior to Wednesday's opening tip. Yet even with Joel Anthony, Rashard Lewis, Shane Battier and Mike Miller sent out alongside joining regular starting point guard Mario Chalmers for the opening tip, the Heat found a way, even while committing 25 turnovers. "It's a very gratifying win for all the guys in the locker room," coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Sixty-two wins does mean something for us in the locker room." He paused, then added, "It's a minor thing. We want to keep the main thing the main thing."
Heat down Wizards, get No. 1 playoff seed, record 62nd victory
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | Apr 11