The Big Three cheered from the bench in the regular-season finale Thursday. Above, they celebrated in the final seconds of the team's easy win over the Charlotte Bobcats earlier in the month.
Playing without their Big Three, the Miami Heat suffered 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 Heat are 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 Heat had 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."
NOTES: Washington G Jordan Crawford missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... Curry started for the first time since March. 7, 2008 when he played for New York. ... Washington F Andray Blatche, who didn't play after March 17 to improve his conditioning, said he's lost 12 pounds and admitted he regretted allowing the negative crowd reaction bother him. He let "the boos get myself down, messing with my head and not being able to go out and work as hard as I could," Blatche said.