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Heat lose to Wizards, 114-93; Pacers get top seed

Wizards Crush Short-Handed Heat




WASHINGTON (AP) -- LeBron James' only visible significant role was that of postgame heckler, interrupting Michael Beasley's interview amid a loose, upbeat locker room that normally wouldn't jibe with a 21-point loss - or throwing in a towel in the race for a No. 1 seed.

James and Chris Bosh took the night off Monday, and the Heat were beaten 114-93 by the Washington Wizards in a no-contest game that guaranteed the Eastern Conference's top seed for the Indiana Pacers.

So, no disappointment at all?

"There would be no disappointment," said Dwyane Wade, who played because he needed some minutes after his recent nine-game layoff with a hamstring injury. "When the playoffs start, we have a new season and we will be looking forward to it."

So the Pacers are locked in to a first-round series against the eighth-seeded Atlanta Hawks, while the two-time defending champion Heat get the No. 2 seed and either the Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats. Miami began the day still in contention for the top spot, but they would have needed to win their last two games and have Indiana lose to Orlando on Wednesday because the Pacers hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Figuring it would be better to be fresh for the postseason, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra sat two of his Big Three, saying they were dealing with "minor ailments" from "the residual of a long season."

"It was out of our control. Those guys put in a lot of mileage," Spoelstra said. "Our schedule was fairly extreme down the stretch. I've never been a part of a group that's played that many games in that few of days down the stretch. That's not an excuse, but we want to just make sure our guys are sharp and feeling healthy."

James has made it part of his annual routine to rest before the playoffs. He missed the final game in 2011 and sat out the last two in both 2012 and 2013.

Trevor Ariza scored 25 points to lead the Wizards, who shot 59 percent and made 14 3-pointers and remain one game ahead of the Bobcats in the race for the No. 6 seed. Washington has made it a point to avoid finishing seventh to keep from having to face the Heat in the first round - knowing full well the cast of characters will be different than it was Monday night.

"We played against a totally different Miami Heat today than usual," Wizards center Marcin Gortat said. "Nothing to be excited about. ... It was more like a scrimmage game than a big battle."

The Heat went with their 20th starting lineup of this season and trailed by as many as 36 in the second half. Beasley finished with 18 points, Toney Douglas had 14, and Wade scored nine in 18 minutes. Miami has lost four of five and is just 11-13 since March 4, including 3-9 on the road.

Gortat had 10 points and 13 rebounds, and John Wall added 13 assists for the Wizards, who have seemingly escaped their 3-point shooting slump. After going 6 for 50 from long range over a three-game span, they've since made 22 of 51 in their last two games. Ariza, whose shooting was hampered by a bout with the flu, made five of eight 3-pointers Monday night.

Also, Nene, who sat out the Wizards' previous game after feeling some stiffness in his recently sprained left knee, looked more like his energetic old self as he scored 18 points off the bench.

Andre Miller supplied the game's biggest highlight, making an overhand paint-to-paint pass to Bradley Beal that would make an NFL quarterback jealous. Beal caught the ball in stride and made the layup in one fluid motion while drawing a foul to set up a three-point play.

"It was a post route," Beal said. "The safety bit on a ball fake, so I was able to beat the corner and I got free for a touchdown. Hopefully the Redskins will pick me up."

NOTES: The Heat were also without C Greg Oden, who did not make the trip to D.C. because of a stomach virus. ... The Wizards sold out for the fourth time this season.

---

Follow Joseph White on Twitter: HTTP://TWITTER.COM/JGWHITEAP

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lyleva April 15 2014 at 8:07 AM

It's all about "how many games" and money.

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Frank April 15 2014 at 9:31 AM

If the Bulls get Mellow and Rose comes back healthy, look out Miami and Indi.

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3 replies
fred mosrie April 15 2014 at 3:43 PM

HEAT IN TROUBLE.

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 fred mosrie April 15 2014 at 4:08 PM

lol,yeah like last year?

Flag Reply +2 rate up
scottfchr April 15 2014 at 7:59 AM

Pacers have been sitting starters, too, so give them credit.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Paul April 15 2014 at 7:11 AM

Basketball is getting so hard to watch.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
2 replies
davedoe12 Paul April 15 2014 at 9:00 AM

I agree, that is why I stopped watching it last year. It is a total farce. When a player coughs he sits down, lmao. Basketball is NOT what it used to be years ago, whereby, players played for the love of the game. Nowadays, it is all about the damn money. They are all OVERPAID.

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BANKAS Paul April 15 2014 at 9:23 AM

Not if you like college ball and are from Connecticut :)

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1 reply
goodgrief61945 BANKAS April 15 2014 at 10:54 AM

The only basketball I watch is Ohio State, but with them losing key players, next year is probably going to be hard to watch.

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English April 15 2014 at 11:21 AM

The NBA and NIke have not only ruined Professional Basketball, but the college game too. Developing players and building a team is no longer possible in College because the kids run to the money. It is a game of one and dones, The NCAA tournament is losing its meaning because to many kidsonly see the tournament to build their appeal for the NBA. I am not a U Conn fan in the least, but it was good to see a group of seniors show why it is important to stay in school as opposed to the look at me group from Kentucky.

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1 reply
Joe Hinshaw English April 15 2014 at 12:27 PM

It dawns on me that with the recent ruling at Northwestern we are now talking contracts. There will be pluses and minuses on both sides of this ruling. The colleges should start putting the players on a four year contract with performance and ethics standards in each. These should be binding to four years of college ball. The players then would be justified in being paid some portion of the sports earnings. It is sure that some of the colleges that don't field the championship teams would make less money and therefore the payments would be less. This could be fixed by setting a standard pay scale by games played. There would be a minimum and maximum pay that would keep all teams on a nearly identical amount. The non profit colleges should not be allowed to continue to make millions of dollars from sports without the athlete getting something more than scholarship money. I believe that the players that come from poor backgrounds would go hungry. Other non-athletic students are able to hold part time employment to help with their expenses. With the class loads and practice times athletes cannot do the same. Expel corporate sponsorship. With the earnings these colleges are making they can by their own shoes and uniforms without contracting. This is a small cost to them in comparison anyway. Cut back on the grand stadiums, hoopla and athletic department salaries and facilities and it should work well and bring sports back into a realm of reality. Then they should address the pro salaries and bring them back down to Earth. These are people playing a game that they most likely would play anyway for free if pro sports did not exist. We see it everyday in the leagues around each of our homes

Flag Reply +1 rate up
brucenordstrom1 April 15 2014 at 4:56 PM

Jordan never sat out a game for a lame reason like that. Never, even when he was playing over 100 games every year and then playing in the Olympics. James is just not the competitor Jordan was; or anything else Jordan was. Like 6-0 in the NBA Finals, never having had to play a Game 7.

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1 reply
davidmapp7 brucenordstrom1 April 15 2014 at 5:30 PM

who is like Jordan ? why do people even make the comparisons ? useless..

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Tom April 15 2014 at 5:43 AM

If I would have bought a ticket to this game to see these guys play, I would have been pissed.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
1 reply
davedoe12 Tom April 15 2014 at 9:03 AM

I personally feel, the ticket holders should get their money back. They paid a lot of money to watch everyone play. Is the coach a citizen? Someone should check that out,

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rodshiley71 April 15 2014 at 3:42 PM

Tired of the Heat and all of their egotistical players that whine all of the time. I think I'll root for the Pacers and Bulls. However, the West has 3 or 4 teams that have capability of taking it all. Should be a very good playoff agenda. Looking forward to watching it.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jano April 15 2014 at 3:21 PM

GO PACERS !!!

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1 reply
beverlyamy1 jano April 15 2014 at 4:10 PM

they will......however it will be home.

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