Key Legislature: Wizards 107 vs Heat 86 — Miami Cooled by Sweet Science of Raining 3s | Wizards Blog Truth About

Key Legislature: Wizards 107 vs Heat 86 — Miami Cooled by Sweet Science of Raining 3s

Updated: December 2, 2014

Truth About’s Key Legislature: a quick run-down and the game’s defining moment(s) for Washington Wizards contest No. 16 versus the Miami Heat in the District of Columbia, via John Converse Townsend (@JohnCTownsend) from the Verizon Center.

DC Council Key Legislature

by John Converse Townsend.

The second Southeast Division bout between the Washington Wizards and the Miami Heat was, more or less, Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Durán II. The “No Mas” fight.

Durán, like the Heat, won the first meeting (by decision) in June 1980. But the rematch, on November 25, was different. Much different.

“The whole fight, I was moving, I was moving. And Voom! I snapped his head back with a jab. Voom! Snapped it back again. When he tried to get me against the ropes, I’d pivot, spin off and Pow! Come under with a punch,” Leonard told Sports Illustrated’s William Nack that December.

The Wizards punched first on Monday night—a Paul Pierce elbow jumper. That was just the beginning.

Late in the first quarter, Otto Porter grabbed an offensive rebound over two Heat players and dished to Rasual Butler, who swung it to Drew Gooden, who zipped it to John Wall, who used a pick from Marcin Gortat to get into the paint before jump-passing to Gooden above the arc, who then touch-passed it to Butler, wide-open in the corner. Watergate. A minute later, Wall accepted another screen from Marcin then jumped off two feet to fire a cross-court pass to Porter in the corner. Watergate.

By the end of the first quarter, the Heat were down 22-30 and struggling to put the ball in the hoop. They were 0-for-6 from 3-point range and 2-for-7 from the free throw line. The Wizards, meanwhile, were 4-for-4 from 3. Eight of their 11 made field goals were assisted.

It was more of the same in the second quarter. The Wizards were hitting, the Heat were not. Washington was capitalizing on every mistake, finishing uncontested at the rim and throwing down two-handed alley-oops. Miami was flat-footed and taking punishment. Norris Cole made a 3 with 10 seconds to play in the half, their second and final long-distance make on the night (22 attempts)—nothing more than a glancing blow.

By halftime, the Wiz were shooting better than 63 percent from the field and had connected on all seven of their 3-point attempts, including a Wall bank job right before the buzzer. The Heat, the best 3-point shooting team in the NBA, were 2-for-10 and had missed nine free throws. The Wizards—powered by Wall, Butler, Beal, and Gortat—led 64-49 at the break, a season-high mark.

They weren’t satisfied.

“Paul (Pierce) had a joke at halftime, he said, ‘Let me get a rest, let’s get up by 25 so I can get a break,’” Wall said after the game, smiling.

See? Just like Leonard vs. Durán II. Here’s Nack:

“And every time I hit him he’d make that noise.” Leonard looks upward, mimicking the eerie sound Roberto Durán makes when he is in the ring–the sound of a malevolent owl. “Hooooo…. Hoooooo…. You know that noise he makes. And then he’d get inside and I’d rip to the body and come across with the right. I did everything I said I was going to do. And he couldn’t accept it. He was frustrated, confused. I did everything I could to make him go off, like a clock wound up too tight. He got wound up so tight, he blew a spring.”

The Wizards started the second half on an 8-2 run. The Heat immediately countered with an 8-0 run, picking up the intensity on defense, hedging hard and trapping the ball handler, and getting out in transition. It was part desperation from Erick Spoelstra’s squad and part the result of poor execution from Wittman’s—four mid-range jump shots, four misses.

Timeout Washington.

Bradley Beal welcomed an open look from the corner when play resumed. He missed, barely, but Kris Humphries secured the rebound. The ball found its way back into Wall’s hands. Wall danced with Luol Deng: left-right crossover, right-left crossover, then stepped out above the arc, allowing Humphries to slip the double-team. Humphries picked up Wall’s perfect bounce pass and finished the play with a two-handed jam.

The Heat were out of answers and Wall was in complete control.

“Miami has a system: they trap a lot, every time pick-and-roll,” he said. “We just wanted to space out, move the ball and take open shots that was there.

“A little bit in the third quarter, when they cut it to, like, 13, we wasn’t taking the open shots we got from ball movement—took some bad ones. But other than that I think we did a great job getting to open spots and trusting the hockey assist or the regular assist you was getting.”

Of course, the rules mandate that at least 48 minutes of basketball be played, so the show went on without real purpose. The Wizards were showboating. The Heat were padding their stats.

At one point in the fourth quarter, Andre Miller electrified the home crowd with a nifty behind-the-back dribble, which he comboed with a fake pass in the lane and a lefty finish. Then Rasual Butler dropped the hammer.

“At the close of a fistic tour de force in which he had beaten Durán to the punch, neutralized his brawling attacks, slipped many of his punches, danced and walked circles around him—and laughed at him, taunted, embarrassed and humiliated him—Durán, the 29-year-old WBC welterweight champion from Panama, simply threw up his arms,” wrote Nack. “With 16 seconds left to go in the eighth round, he surrendered.”

Durán turned his back on Leonard and grunted “No mas, no mas” in the direction of referee Octavio Meyran.

¿Por que?” asked Meyran. Why?

Durán didn’t respond.

On Monday night, neither did Miami.


The Bullets.

  • “We played good, for 48 minutes. Probably our best game from start to finish,” Randy Wittman told the media post-game.
  • Twenty-nine of the Wizards’ 39 made field goals were assisted. That’s the type of cheam basketball that Nene dreams about.
  • John Wall had 13 assists, tying his season-high.
  • The Wizards out-rebounded the Heat 42-33 and out-scored them on second-chance points, 14-4.



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John Converse Townsend
Reporter / Writer / Co-Editor at TAI
John has been part of the editorial team at TAI since 2010. He likes: pocket passes, chase-down blocks, 3-pointers. He dislikes: typos, turnovers, midrange jump shots.