Rookie Taylor Gets His First NBA Start

By Ivan Carter
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Rookie guard Donell Taylor has seen his role steadily increase since the Wizards parted ways with Chucky Atkins on Jan. 18. But last night, the University of Alabama-Birmingham product broke new ground by making his first NBA start.

Taylor replaced injured forward Jared Jeffries, who is expected to miss at least two more games because of a left calf strain.

The 6-foot-5 Taylor entered the game averaging 3.2 points and 1.0 assists in 30 games but has played some of his best basketball in recent weeks, including a 10-point, six-assist outing in Sunday's win over Sacramento.

Can't Beat the Heat

Miami (39-20) has won 14 consecutive games against the Wizards entering tonight's game, including a four-game sweep in last season's Eastern Conference playoffs. Washington's last win over the Heat came April 11, 2003. The only Wizards remaining from that team are Jeffries and centers Brendan Haywood and Etan Thomas.

The Heat has beaten the Wizards in both meetings this season, 104-101 on Dec. 11 in Miami and 128-113 on the road on Dec. 30. Heat guard Dwyane Wade, who was expected to play despite a sprained right wrist, scored 41 points in the Dec. 11 win over the Wizards. Wade was named NBA player of the month for February.

Back to Baltimore

The Wizards wore throwback jerseys based on the 1972-73 Baltimore Bullets last night.

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