|Date of game: 1/15/2014
Recap: Washington vs. Miami
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - LeBron James had the ball poked away by Garrett Temple and Ray Allen wrapped up Bradley Beal to stop a fast break.
The Washington Wizards already led the Miami Heat by 30 points and it wasn't even halftime.
How strange did it get Wednesday night at Verizon Center? The Wizards called a timeout before Beal took his foul shots and Greg Oden, who hadn't played a regular season game in over four years, checked in for the team that had just celebrated its second straight NBA title with the president.
John Wall had 25 points and nine assists, Beal and Nene both scored 19 and Washington beat Miami 114-97 after leading by as many as 34, handing the Heat their first three-game losing streak in the regular season in two years.
The Heat rallied within nine points in the second half but couldn't overcome the early surge. They had been off for four days since their previous game, a double-overtime loss to Brooklyn on Friday, and spent the last of those days with President Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
The roster was different. Miami dealt center Joel Anthony and two draft picks to Boston on Wednesday and acquired guard Toney Douglas from Golden State, part of a three-team trade Heat president Pat Riley said, on their end, was meant to give the team flexibility for the upcoming trade deadline, trimming millions in salary and luxury tax from the books.
Mario Chalmers (Achilles) and Chris Andersen (body soreness) were out for the Heat but Shane Battier returned after missing five games with a sore quad.
Oden, the former No. 1 pick Miami signed in August, dressed for the first time in the regular season since Dec. 5, 2009, for Portland, which drafted him in 2007 only to see the 7-footer play 82 total games because of bad knees before cutting him five years later.
Oden got a rebound, then a dunk on his first trip down the court. Later, after Dwyane Wade and James hooked up on one of those long alley-oops that go viral in minutes, James saw Oden in the lane and passed to him for another dunk.
"It feels very good, but I wish we could've won," Oden said. "That's the most important thing."
Oden had six points in 8 1/2 minutes, Chris Bosh led the Heat with 26 points and James scored 25.
The Wizards, now 18-19, shot better than 77 percent in the first quarter and scored 20 straight points during one five-minute stretch. That was part of a 29-6 run spanning the first two quarters that gave Washington a 27-point lead early in the second.
Trevor Ariza knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner for Washington, Marcin Gortat blocked Norris Cole at the other end, and Trevor Booker followed with a layup in a series near the end of the run that was typical of how the first quarter went.
"That first quarter from a defensive standpoint and an offensive standpoint was really good to watch. That was really good to watch," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said, struggling to find the right words to express his pleasure.
"That was fun to see as a coach, to see those guys play that way."
The Wizards forced six Miami turnovers in the quarter, all in the first 10 minutes, and scored 10 points off them. Miami cut a 34-point deficit to 21 at halftime and got as close as nine four times, including midway through the fourth quarter.
Washington followed with an 8-0 spurt capped by Martell Webster's alley-oop dunk from Wall to fight off the comeback attempt.
Gortat said even a 34-point lead isn't comfortable enough against a team like the Heat.
"That's a championship team," he said. "They're capable of coming back and that's what they did."
The Heat hadn't lost three in a row during the regular season since Jan. 10-13, 2012. They fell to 0-3 on a six-game road trip that continues in Philadelphia on Friday.
The Wizards -- beginning a five-game homestand -- snapped a four-game losing streak against Miami and a four-game slide in their building, where they had lost seven of their last eight.Game Notes
Chalmers missed his fourth straight game ... Miami lost three straight games
to the Celtics in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals ... Washington hosts
Chicago on Friday.