WASHINGTON, May 14 (Ticker) -- Dwyane Wade
and Eddie Jones
Diesel" some extra rest.
Wade scored a franchise playoff-record 42 points and Jones
nailed a go-ahead 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds left as the Miami
Heat - again without Shaquille O'Neal
- avoided a fourth-quarter
collapse and completed a four-game Eastern Conference semifinal
sweep of the Washington Wizards with a 99-95 triumph.
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hit six 3-pointers en route to 19 points for the
top-seeded Heat, who improved to 8-0 in the postseason and will
face either the Indiana Pacers or Detroit Pistons in the
Miami played a second straight game without Most Valuable Player
runner-up O'Neal, who is nursing a badly bruised right thigh.
By virtue of completing a sweep, the Heat will give the All-Star
center at least another week's rest. The sixth-seeded Pacers
lead the second-seeded and defending champion Pistons, 2-1.
"There's always a Diesel flow to our team," Wade said. "Shaq
came to us before the game and told us, 'I'm proud of y'all. You
can do this regardless.' And we did it with the help of our
big man. He wasn't in the game with us, but he was just as big
in these two games. It's very big to give him some more rest."
The Heat trailed at the break, 51-47, but shot 71 percent
(12-of-17) in the third quarter to take an 87-76 advantage into
the final 12 minutes. Wade scored 22 points and went 7-of-7
from the field in the period.
"That was probably the best," Wade said of his third-quarter
performance. "I felt like I couldn't miss. I felt like I could
do no wrong. It felt like every shot you put up was going to
go in. It was a golden opportunity and I just felt great."
Heat coach Stan Van Gundy
was hesitant to give the hot-handed
Wade a breather to begin the fourth quarter.
"It was an incredible third quarter by an incredible player,"
Van Gundy said. "I almost hated to take him out because he was
on such a roll, but I had to give him some rest. I think in the
fourth quarter when he came back he had carried such a big load
that he was really tired.
"Obviously he was fabulous the whole series, particularly the
two games here - to step up and have games like that with Shaq
not being able to play."
Wade scored a total of 73 points in Game 3 and 4 with
scored 25 points but shot just 5-of-17 before
fouling out with 6:04 remaining for the Wizards, who beat the
Chicago Bulls in six games in the first round for their first
playoff series win since 1982. When Arenas fouled out, he
removed his uniform top and tossed it into the stands - a ritual
for much of the season - and earned a technical.
"I was just taking my shirt off," Arenas said. "I didn't know I
was going to get a technical for it. Actually, I was surprised
that I fouled out. I didn't know I had the sixth one already.
That's what I do. Instead of sitting there in a wet shirt, I go
ahead and give it to somebody. I had talked to (referee)
Joey (Crawford) and said that I do that after every game, and he
said, 'Oh, I thought you were mad because you got the tech and
because you fouled out.' But I didn't mean it as a protest."
The Heat held a 94-83 lead when Eddie Jones - who induced
Arenas' sixth foul - split a pair of free throws.
But Steve Blake
hit a runner to trigger a 12-0 run, which Antawn Jamison
ended with a 3-pointer for a 95-94 edge with 1:15 left.
Neither team scored until Jones connected from the right wing to
give the Heat a 97-95 edge and silence the MCI Center crowd.
"The last three or four minutes we finally found a way to get
the ball out of his hands," Jamison said of Wade. "Before that,
(the strategy on) the pick-and-roll was just to jump him. It
kind of worked the last two minutes. Unfortunately, on the last
play for them, I think I went too early and he was able to put
us in a bad situation where we should go down and help on
or contend for the shot with Eddie Jones, and
(Wade) was able to find Eddie."
Following a timeout, Wizards guard Larry Hughes
drove for a
layup but had his shot blocked by Alonzo Mourning
, who was
starting in O'Neal's place. The ball went out of bounds off
Hughes with 8.3 seconds left, and Wade sank two free throws just
over a second later to cap the scoring.
"They got kind of pumped when Gilbert went out and made a run,"
Wade said. "They took the lead but this team is a good team.
We came down and made a big play. Eddie hit a big three and I
hit two free throws."
Taking advantage of O'Neal's absence, Washington center
contributed 18 points and 15 rebounds. Hughes had just
15 points on 4-of-17 shooting for the Wizards, who shot just 37
"They're a better team than us right now," Hughes said of the
Heat, who also swept the Wizards in the regular season. "They
showed it all season. For us, it's back to the drawing board
against them, but we'll be right back at them next year. We're
not going to quit what we're trying to accomplish."
Wade finished 13-of-22 from the field and 16-of-17 from the line
for the Heat, who shot 54 percent (29-of-54) through three
quarters but just 14 percent (3-of-22) in the fourth. They did
not make a basket for almost exactly 10 minutes before Jones'
"I came in the huddle and told him, 'You're going to make a big
three for us,'" Wade said he told Jones. "And then he made a
big three for us. I had the confidence in him to tell him that,
and then he took the shot. That's the kind of player he is."
Wade, however, is the kind of player the Wizards most aspire to
"Those are elite players we played against and if we want to be
there, we've got to work that much harder," Arenas said. "(Wade)
is one of the best right now. He's proving and he's showing
it. I'm glad that's my rivalry now. We're friends off the
court and we're a rivalry on the floor. He's done a great job
of taking his team on his back. When his season gets started
with the third round, I'm going to be there watching him. I'm a