Originally created 12/16/06

Wizards break spell



WASHINGTON - The Washington Wizards unloaded 3 years of frustration on the Miami Heat on Friday night, taking advantage of a depleted lineup to blow the game open in the first quarter and hold on for a 106-95 victory.

Never mind that the Heat didn't have Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O'Neal. The Wizards were more than relieved under any circumstance to end a 16-game losing streak to their Southeast Division rivals and get their first win in the series since Michael Jordan led a 91-87 victory in Miami on April 11, 2003.

Caron Butler scored a season-high 30 points and had nine rebounds, and Gilbert Arenas had 27 points, snapping his streak of five consecutive games with 30 or more. Antawn Jamison added 22 points and a career-high five blocked shots for the Wizards, who led 40-17 after a first quarter in which they shot 76 percent and held a 26-0 advantage in fast-break points.

The Wizards have won five of six and are 9-3 at home. They improved to 11-11 overall, reaching .500 for the first time since mid-November.

James Posey made seven of 11 3-pointers and scored a season-high 26 points, Alonzo Mourning scored 17 points, and rookie Chris Quinn set season highs in minutes (25), points (9) and assists (5) for the Heat. Posey, Quinn and Robert Hite came off the bench to help lead a run that cut a 24-point deficit to 11 at halftime, and coach Pat Riley rewarded all three by putting them in the lineup to start the second half.