But they received no help. None of any consequence, at least. And that's why the Washington Bullets are going into the All-Star break with a six-game losing streak.
Loss No. 6 came last night, 111-107 to the Miami Heat before 14,279 at Miami Arena, despite season-high scoring from Howard and Webber. Both nearly recorded triple doubles along the way.
"Those two guys are destroying people," Bullets coach Jim Lynam said. "I mean, they are playing very, very well. . . . What's that, 46 straight solid games for Juwan? He's going to break Joe DiMaggio's string for consistency if he keeps it up. He's solid as a rock."
Howard scored a season-high 31 points and added 10 rebounds and seven assists. Webber had season highs of 26 points and 11 assists to go with eight rebounds before fouling out with eight seconds to play.
Many of their assists were to each other.
"Me and Chris always play well together," Howard said. "We feed off each other, slashing to the hoop. Still and all, we didn't get the victory."
Because they didn't get the help. Scott Skiles added 19 points, 12 coming in the first half, and four assists. No other Bullet had more than nine points or two assists.
Reeves did most of his damage in the final four minutes, swishing two three-pointers and two free throws as the Heat held on.
Another key was free throws, and here Webber and Howard struggled with their teammates. The Bullets were 23-for-39 (59 percent), with Webber going 3-for-8, Howard 7-for-11 and Anthony Tucker 3-for-7. The Heat, meanwhile, made 38 of 45 (84.4 percent), including a 15-for-15 night from Rice.
The game was intense, but the night's best drama came midway through the third quarter, when two of the biggest men in the NBA began barking at each other and had to be restrained. Had the Bullets' 6-foot-10, 250-pound Webber and 7-0, 240-pound Willis of the Heat gone at it, Miami Arena would have seen its best fight of the year -- regardless of its other tenant, the NHL's Florida Panthers.
Said Webber: "He just gave me some elbows to the head. Sometimes it happens."
And Willis: "Any time a guy wants to get physical with me, I'm all for it. You're going to lose if you try to test me."