Heat clinch NBA playoff home-court edge

Defending NBA champion Miami, playing without its top stars, clinched this season's best NBA record and a home-field advantage in the playoffs with a 103-98 victory at Washington.

Ray Allen of the Miami Heat is pictured during a game in Florida on January 25, 2013. Allen scored 23 points as the Heat clinched this season's best NBA record and a home-field advantage in the playoffs with a 103-98 victory at Washington on April 10, 2013.

Ray Allen scored 23 points Wednesday to lead the Heat, who lacked LeBron James due to a sore right hamstring, Dwyane Wade with a knee bruise and ankle sprain, Chris Bosh with the flu and Udonis Haslem with a sore right ankle.

The Heat set a new team record for victories in a single season with 62 and ensured they will finish atop the San Antonio Spurs, the leaders of the NBA Western Conference, for the top playoff seed.

At 62-16, Miami had already clinched the top Eastern Conference mark.

Rashard Lewis scored 17 points for the Heat, while Shane Battier added 15 points and Mike Miller had 14 points and eight rebounds for Miami.

The Wizards, led by A.J. Price's 23 points and 17 from John Wall, saw their nine-game home win streak snapped. Washington fell to 29-50.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency