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Riding the Bullets Bench March

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Bullets Put The Hurt On The Heat With A Big Comeback

6 March 1997. Washington Bullets 99, Miami Heat 95 (record: 28-31)
Game leaders: Murray (22 points), Howard, Muresan (8 rebounds), Strickland (11 assists)

A Miami fan is going to complain that they were without their center, Alonzo Mourning. Let's just not remind them that the Bullets were without CWebb, who may still miss another week or so with his sore hip and back.

The Bullets were down by as much as 15 points in the fourth quarter, but rallied to win a game against the Heat. It was the Bullets first win against a divisional first- or second-place team in the league. The loss by the Heat caused them to fall out of first place in the Atlantic Division.

Two players in particular helped spur the Bullets to this victory in the fourth: Tracy Murray and Ben Wallace. Murray scored 18 of his season-high 22 points in the fourth quarter. He hit 4 three-pointers during the quarter, and finished with 7 rebounds for the game. And the Bullets played some serious defense, keyed by Wallace's efforts. Wallace had 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal, and was constantly challenging Heat players in the lane. Those two factors helped combine for the Bullets' 36-19 point advantage in the fourth.

The Bullets played 10 players during the game, and all played at least 12 minutes during the game. Strickland chipped in with 19 points, and Whitney had 12 points off the bench. Howard, who was booed by the Miami crowd every time he touched the ball, finished with 14 points on 7 of 18 shooting.

The final 30 seconds of the game were also exciting, as the Heat tried to play catch-up and the Bullets hit their free throws down the stretch. Murray hit 2 of 2, and Strickland finished the game hitting 5 of 6. J.A. Adande of the Washington Post gives a good summary of the final ticks on the clock toward the end of this article.

This isn't it for the Heat and Bullets. This is the front end of a head-to-head matchup, as the Bullets host the Heat tonight. Should be another good game.

wtf 7 March 1997

<== A Rare Road Victory Yields A Muted Celebration For The Bullets

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