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Heat get out broom

Wade (42) leads sweep of Wizards

Heat99
Wizards95

WASHINGTON -- The preliminary stuff is over in the Miami Heat's playoff run.

Eddie Jones made a 3-pointer from the right wing with 14.9 seconds remaining last night, thwarting a late Washington Wizards rally in the Heat's 99-95 victory that wrapped up the Eastern Conference semifinal series in four games.

Miami swept two teams it also swept in the regular season, completing the job with Dwyane Wade solidifying his case as a phenomenon-on-the-rise, with Jones hitting the winning shot, and with Shaquille O'Neal sitting on the bench in a dapper dark gray suit.

Jones's basket gave Miami a 97-95 lead and ended a streak of 16 straight misses for the Heat, who blew an 11-point lead over the final six minutes.

Washington's Larry Hughes attempted to tie the game with a drive to the basket, but Alonzo Mourning blocked the shot with 8.3 seconds remaining. Wade then made two free throws.

Wade scored 22 of his career playoff-high 42 points in a dazzling third quarter in which he went 7 for 7 from the field and 8 for 8 from the free throw line. He broke franchise records for points in a playoff quarter and a playoff game and scored 31, 31, and 42 in the last three games of the series.

The Wizards simply could not stop Wade, whether he was working himself open for a jumper or grabbing an offensive rebound and going back up for a dunk. He finished 13 for 22 from the field and 16 for 17 from the line.

''It was just about taking what the defense gave me," Wade said. ''I had confidence in my pull-up, and I was taking that. Then the defense started getting confused, and I was able to get to the lane and make the basket down low."

O'Neal missed his second straight game with a deep thigh bruise that has hobbled him for several weeks. The sweep will give him a minimum of eight days to recover, with the conference finals against Detroit or Indiana not scheduled to start until May 23, at the earliest.

''It means we get a lot of rest," Wade said. ''We're just going to try to go get healthy. This team is on a mission. Whoever our next opponent is in the next round is going to be tough."

A healthy O'Neal wasn't necessary against New Jersey in the first round or Washington in the second. The Heat went 15-0 against the two teams and are the first team in NBA history to sweep the same two teams in the playoffs that it swept during the regular season. Miami has also won 12 straight against the Washington over two seasons.

Damon Jones added 19 points from the Heat, including 12 points in the third quarter when he made all four of his 3-point attempts.

All hope for the Wizards appeared to end when Gilbert Arenas fouled out with 6:04 remaining and his team trailing by 10, but Juan Dixon made a pair of 3-pointers and Antawn Jamison hit a three that put the Wizards ahead, 95-94, with 1:15 to play.

Arenas scored 25 points for the Wizards before fouling out for just the second time this season. Arenas, who usually throws his jersey into the crowd after each game, did so immediately after getting his sixth foul and was called for a technical.

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