MIAMI, May 10 (Ticker) -- Shaquille O'Neal again did not play like Superman, but Dwyane Wade more than made up for it.

Wade collected 31 points and a franchise playoff-record 15 assists as the Heat defeated the Wizards, 108-102, to open a 2-0 advantage in their best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.

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"I'm really trying to be a playmaker," said Wade, who set a career high in assists and grabbed seven rebounds. "To come out and be on the attack."

O'Neal, the MVP runner-up this season who has a tattoo of Superman on his left arm, played just 26 foul-plagued minutes in Game 1 but his Heat nevertheless cruised to a 105-86 victory - their ninth in a row over the Wizards. In this one, O'Neal appeared to be bothered by a right thigh bruise suffered late in the regular season and managed just 16 points in 37 minutes.

"Everything is so relative," Heat coach Stan Van Gundy said. "He's not 100 percent. He may not be typical Shaq. Right now, that guy, one that leg, is still a heck of a player. Tell me one center who is putting up better numbers in the playoffs. If he keeps giving us those kind of numbers, we're going to be fine."

For the third day in a row, O'Neal left without speaking to reporters.

"A hurt Shaq is still the No. 1 center in this league," Washington guard Gilbert Arenas said. "They built this team for a championship run. They have all the elements. That's what we're facing. You've got to get slapped in the face sometimes before you toughen up. They're beating us down right now, but we're not afraid. We don't care. We're going to keep fighting."

Miami led by as many as 14 points early in the fourth quarter and held a 102-91 advantage wiih 2:56 remaining after a layup by Eddie Jones, who scored 21 points. Washington scored the next six points before Wade converted a three-point play for a 105-97 cushion with 1:05 left, and the Wizards got no closer than five points thereafter.

"We tried to cut the floor off on (Wade)," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "He is so good that he just splits our pick-and-rolls. He is a tornado out there. He is a major force when he goes to the basket."

The Heat could have won by a more comfortable margin but they missed 18 of their 40 free throws.

"It made the game a lot tougher than it needed to be," Van Gundy said

O'Neal missed three consecutive free throws - he was awarded an extra attempt due to a lane violation - with Miami holding a nine-point advantage with 1:54 to play. In the last minute, Miami missed 3-of-6 from the line.

In the end, it didn't matter.

"I'm not worried about free throws because we can make free throws," Miami backup center Alonzo Mourning said. "I'm worried about our turnovers because they capitalize on them."

The Wizards converted 20 Heat turnovers into 15 points.

Miami shot 58 percent (38-of-66) and limited Washington to just 41 percent (37-of-90) from the field as it improved to 6-0 in the postseason.

The Heat took the lead for good, 64-61, on a 3-pointer by Damon Jones with 7 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Antawn Jamison scored 32 points and Arenas added 28 for the Wizards, who held a 42-40 rebounding advantage. Larry Hughes scored just two points on 0-of-11 shooting through three quarters but had 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the fourth.

Jamison, who is still slowed by a sore knee, said the key to Washington's getting back into the series is stopping Wade's slashing moves to the basket.

"He's killing us with his penetration," Jamison said. "We have to keep him from doing that. We have to keep him out of the paint."

Game 3 is Thursday in Washington.

"We know that when we get home our crowd is going to be behind us and we're going to be ready to go," Arenas said.

Van Gundy said the Heat were fortunate to be up 2-0 in the series.

"They kicked our butts on the boards, we missed 18 free throws and turned the ball over a lot," Van Gundy said. "Those are the things we're not supposed to do, but we still got out of here with a win."