MIAMI — LeBron James set the tone pregame. Dwyane Wade took over in the fourth quarter.
And the Miami Heat got a win they desperately wanted.
Wade scored 13 of his 22 points in the final period and led a critical 12-0 run down the stretch, James led all scorers with 23 points and the Heat clinched a playoff spot by beating the Washington Wizards 99-90 on Monday night to snap a three-game losing streak.
“We needed a win,” Wade said. “We needed this win.”
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Chris Bosh scored 22 for the Heat (44-17), who moved within one game of Indiana (46-17) in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and 1½ games behind San Antonio (46-16) for the league’s best record. Former Sonic Ray Allen added 13 for Miami, which was coming off a trip where it lost at Houston, San Antonio and Chicago, the last of those coming in a late collapse on Sunday.
Wade hasn’t typically played back-to-backs this season. He did this time, and the Heat simply rolled with him in the final minutes on the way to avoiding what would have been its first four-game slide since 2011.
“He made the right plays,” James said.
Bradley Beal scored 18 points, former Seattle Prep standout Martell Webster scored 17 and Drew Gooden had 15 for the Wizards. Marcin Gortat finished with 14 points and a career-high-tying 18 rebounds — 10 of them in the first quarter.
Knicks send 76ers to 17th straight loss, await Jackson
NEW YORK — Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 28 points as the New York Knicks defeated Philadelphia 123-110, sending the 76ers to their 17th straight loss.
Amare Stoudemire added 23 points, J.R. Smith 22 and Carmelo Anthony 20 as the Knicks won their fourth game in a row.
Michael Carter-Williams recorded a triple-double with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists, while former Husky Tony Wroten Jr. also had 23 points for the struggling 76ers.
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, indications are that Phil Jackson will accept the Knicks’ offer to join the club’s front office, according to a league source.
“The Knicks have a sense of what’s going to happen,” the source said, ESPN reported. “And as of right now, it looks like Phil’s taking the job. There’s always the possibility of something falling apart at the last minute, but the Knicks’ sense is that he’s joining them.”
• Anthony Bennett’s rough rookie season hit a new bump.
The Cavaliers’ first-year forward will miss at least three weeks with a strained left knee, the latest setback for the No. 1 overall pick who has been a major disappointment for Cleveland.
Bennett underwent an MRI on Sunday that showed a strain to his left patellar tendon. He played eight minutes in Saturday’s home loss to the New York Knicks.
The injury is another obstacle for Bennett, who has shown some improvement lately and signs of developing into a rotational player.
• Blake Griffin scored 22 of his 37 points in the first quarter and made 14 of 16 shots before fouling out, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat Phoenix 112-105 for their eighth straight victory.
• Al Jefferson scored 26 and Kemba Walker had 24 as Charlotte won its seventh straight at home, 105-98 over Denver.
• Kyle Korver scored 26 points and Paul Millsap had 23 to help visiting Atlanta outlast Utah 112-110 and snap a six-game losing streak. Former Bremerton star Marvin Williams scored 18 for the Jazz.
• The NBA Development League has added a team in the New York suburb of White Plains that will be owned and operated by the Knicks.