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Heat Burn Wizards

Alonzo Mourning and the Miami Heat took advantage of Washington's latest fourth-quarter lapse.

Mourning scored 28 points as Miami beat Washington 98-88 on Saturday night for their third straight victory and a sweep of the season series.

"It's a good win for us because it's time for us to establish a presence on the road," said coach Pat Riley, whose Heat improved to 15-14 on the road.

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  • Tim Hardaway added 23 points and Jamal Mashburn had 15 for the Heat, who have beaten the Wizards four times this season and eight straight overall. First-place Miami increased its lead in the Atlantic Division to a full game over idle New York.

    Mourning, who turned his left ankle early in the game and left briefly in the second half with a bloody nose, was the difference.

    "It's great that they have a horse to go in to," Wizards coach Darrell Walker said. "We don't have a guy like that right now."

    Mourning made the most of 1-on-1 coverage, going 8-for-16 from the field and hitting 12 of 13 free throws.

    "I felt like I kind of struggled at times. ... I made the right plays at the right times," Mourning said.

    The Wizards, who have lost nine of 10 games, led 84-81 lead on Chris Whitney's 3-pointer with 6:43 left. Then Miami went on a decisive 13-2 run.

    "Three of the last five games, we've been rock-solid in our halfcourt game at the end," Riley said.

    Mourning gave Miami an 86-84 lead with a dunk, Dan Majerle added a 3-pointer and Hardaway capped the run by hitting three free throws after being fouled by Rod Strickland on a 3-point attempt.

    The Wizards' only points during the game-breaking burst came when Juwan Howard was credited with a basket after Mourning was called for goaltending. Miami outscored Washington 23-14 in the final quarter.

    "There were three or four minutes in the fourth quarter when we couldn't hit anything and they made their shots," Walker said. "We had some good looks at the basket but some untimely turnovers. I'd draw up a play and they'd turn the ball over."

    Tracy Murray led Washington with 20 points, Howard had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and Strickland added 12 points.

    Washington overcame a 3-for-15 start from the field and 10 first-quarter points by Mourning to take a 23-22 lead. Richard Hamilton hit a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run with 38.6 seconds remaining in the period.

    Howard and Murray, who hit three 3-pointers in the second period, each had 15 first-half points for the Wizards, who led 54-52 at halftime.

    Miami opened the third quarter with a 17-4 run to erase Washington's advantage. Hardaway had a pair of 3-pointers during the run.

    With 3:02 remaining in the third period, Mourning left the game when his nose, broken Feb. 21, was bloodied in a collision with Howard. Mourning returned early in the fourth.


  • When he eased into a seat along one of the baselines, Wizards minority owner Jonathan Ledecky was asked by an MCI Center usher to produce his ticket stub.
  • Miami is 8-4 in the second night of back-to-back games.
  • The Heat also swept Washington in 1991-92 (5-0) and 1998-99 (3-0). ...The game drew a crowd of 20,674, the Wizards' first sellout in 27 games this season.

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