WASHINGTON — His feet soaking in a tub of ice, his eyes scanning a box score, LeBron James chuckled a bit at the notion that his Miami Heat might learn something from a surprising setback against the Washington Wizards.
“Nah, man, there’s not no lesson. This ain’t a lesson for us. We just lost," James explained. “We’ve seen and been through everything, so we don’t need a loss to be like, ‘Oh, let’s catch ourselves.’ It happens."
Not too many people figured this outcome would happen, though, a message Wizards coach Randy Wittman delivered to his players before their worst-in-the-NBA team went out and beat the Heat 105-101 on Tuesday night behind Jordan Crawford’s 22 points — and despite James’ triple-double of 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Perhaps inspired by the courtside presence of Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, who exchanged a handshake with Cowboys fan James after the final buzzer, the Wizards doubled their victory total this season. The Wizards improved to 2-13, earning their second win in the past three games after starting a franchise-worst 0-12.
“I’m so happy for those guys," said Wittman, who called this perhaps the most satisfying victory of his coaching career.
He said he told his team beforehand: “The only people that think you have a chance tonight are the people here in this room. ... We need to have a statement game."
And, Wittman continued, “I said, ‘I’ve seen it a number of times, guys.’ ... (People say), ‘They ain’t got a chance to win this game.’ And that’s what people were saying. We all listen. Could hear it on the street and all that. These guys, it bothers them."
The reigning NBA champion Heat’s six-game winning streak ended, and they fell to 12-4.
“You move on," said Dwyane Wade, who scored 24 for Miami. “You learn from it, but you don’t become a good team by holding onto certain losses — or certain wins."
Also on Tuesday:
NEW YORK — Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and Oklahoma City held off Brooklyn for its sixth straight victory. Deron Williams scored a season-high 34 points for the Nets.
HOUSTON — Toney Douglas had a season-high 22 points and Greg Smith added a career-best 21 to help Houston beat Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant led the Lakers with 39 points.
CHICAGO — Paul George scored 34 points, and Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 11 rebounds to help Indiana close its road trip at 3-1 with a win over Chicago.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Zach Randolph set season highs with 38 points and 22 rebounds to carry Memphis down the stretch and in overtime in a win over Phoenix.
PHILADELPHIA — Josh Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Alexey Shved hit four 3-pointers and scored 17 points to lead Minnesota over Philadelphia.