Originally created 05/13/05

Heat takes 3-0 lead against Wizards



WASHINGTON - Shaquille O'Neal didn't play, and Dwyane Wade committed five turnovers in the first quarter. Still, the Miami Heat kept their perfect postseason intact.

Five Miami players scored in a 13-0 third-quarter run that swung the game, and Wade steadied himself to finish with 31 points, nine rebounds and six assists, leading a 102-95 victory over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night. That gave the Heat a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Heat, 7-0 in the postseason, can complete their second straight sweep on Saturday night.

The deep thigh bruise that has bothered O'Neal for weeks finally caused him to miss a playoff game for the first time in his career, ending a streak of 164 consecutive postseason appearances. His absence appeared to open a golden opportunity for the Wizards, who had won seven straight at home and needed some momentum after back-to-back losses in Miami.

But 35-year-old Alonzo Mourning started for O'Neal and continued his postseason renaissance with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks, including a rejection of Larry Hughes' layup attempt in the final minute.

Eddie Jones and Damon Jones added 16 points apiece, and Udonis Haslem had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Wade made 14 of 27 shots and finished with eight turnovers.

Gilbert Arenas scored 20 points and set a franchise playoff record with 14 assists for the Wizards, who trailed by 11 early in the fourth quarter and by 10 with 4:19 remaining before Arenas led a late charge. He stumbled through the paint for a layup that cut the lead to 98-95 with 1:51 remaining, but Haslem's 18-footer and Wade's falling-down layup pushed the lead back to seven in the final minute.