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WASHINGTON (AP) — Playing without their Big Three, the Miami Heatsuffered their worst defeat of 2011-2012 with a 104-70 loss to the Washington Wizards in the regular-season finale Thursday night.
With their first playoff game just two days away, Miami coach Erik Spoelstra rested LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh for the second straight game. The Heatare locked into the Eastern Conference’s second playoff spot and open the postseason Saturday against the New York Knicks.
Mo Evans had a season-high 18 points, Nene and Kevin Seraphin each scored 15, and John Wall had seven points and 12 assists for the Wizards, who closed the season with their first six-game win streak since Nov. 11-21, 2007. Three of the six wins were against the East’s top two teams: one against Chicago and two over Miami.
The Wizards went on a 27-11 run to take a 33-18 lead early in the second quarter. Washington increased it to 57-32 at halftime and led by as many as 38 in the fourth quarter.
On Tuesday, Spoelstra also rested James, Wade and Bosh in a 78-66 loss at Boston.
With a lineup featuring only one usual starter — Mario Chalmers — the Heathad only two players in double figures: Norris Cole had 14 and Eddy Curry 10.
Spoelstra had a problem that Washington coach Randy Wittman wishes he had. Hired in January with the team’s record 2-15, Wittman has no assurances from team president Ernie Grunfeld, whose contract was extended earlier this week, that he’ll return as coach — despite the impressive stretch to end the season.
“I’m not an idiot. Any time you lose a job you’re disappointed. I think anybody doesn’t want to lose a job or look elsewhere for a job,” Wittman said. “I can’t worry about it.”
(© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)