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Heat win 5th straight, beat Wizards 106-83
Updated: 2004-12-14 17:28

Shaquille O'Neal scored a season-high 40 points, and the Miami Heat overcame the loss of leading scorer Dwyane Wade to beat the Washington Wizards 106-83 Monday night for their fifth straight win.

Miami Heat's Shaquille O'Neal (32) prepares to shoot over Washington Wizards' Brendan Haywood in the first quarter Monday, Dec. 13, 2004, in Miami, Fla. [AP]

Wade sprained his left ankle grabbing a loose ball with 3:18 left in the first half, and did not return. A Heat spokesman said Wade's second-half absence was "more precautionary than anything else."

O'Neal, who had 34 points against Toronto last month, added 12 rebounds and five blocks as Miami beat Washington for the seventh consecutive time.

Gilbert Arenas scored 18 points for Washington, which lost for only the third time in 12 games.

Miami's Rasual Butler had 16 points and tied his career high with seven rebounds. Eddie Jones added 14 points and Damon Jones had 12 points and nine assists.

Kwame Brown added 16 points for the Wizards, who averaged 102.1 points per game and were held below 93 for just the third time this season.

Miami led 71-62 after three quarters, and Washington got within seven with 10:23 remaining. Then the Heat went on a 26-11 run with O'Neal scoring 12 of his 15 fourth-quarter points to open a 102-80 cushion with 2:35 left.

The Wizards scored just 32 points their lowest halftime total of the season and trailed by 11 at the break. Antawn Jamison (1-of-7), Larry Hughes (2-of-11) and Arenas (2-of-9) contributed to 33-percent shooting.

O'Neal had 15 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the first half. He scored 10 points to help Miami take a 20-16 lead after one quarter.

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