Washington would draw first blood, but Dwyane Wade would strike back immediately. As usual Washington stuck to their usual game plan at first electing to score most points via fast break, however this only worked for a brief period of time. Goran Dragic once again ran the offense, which translated into some beautiful pick and pop play. Additionally, it seemed as if the Heat were fighting fire with fire as they lit up the Wizards early with their own fast break points. It really seems as if Miami is developing cohesion on offense, and this allowed them to get ahead early.
The Wizards are a completely different team without Bradley Beal, and their offense really runs through John Wall and Marcin Gortat. They are still deadly on fast breaks and as a result managed to comeback and keep it close until the end of the first.
One observation from the first quarter, Chris Bosh is a total All-Star, though he slides under the radar he is easily one of the league's best players. He had 10 in the first quarter.
The second quarter started strong for the Heat with two consecutive treys from both Bosh and Tyler Johnson. In fact Miami looked very dangerous from downtown. Mark Cuban's cries to honor defensive 3 second violations was on display as well as Bosh was called for 3 second violation early in the quarter. The Heat's second unit was very solid, though they aren't always flashy they are grinders. The Wizards, also put up a fight early in the quarter, though it wouldn't last long
Justise Winslow was rusty in his return making multiple mistakes, however he did have a great chase down block.
Denied by the Department of Justise ⚖. (Fox Sports Sun) pic.twitter.com/Zar6QLWL2b— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 3, 2016
Shortly after, Gortat landed on Whiteside's foot following a fight for a rebound and rolled his ankle, though he would return in the second half.
Midway through the second quarter, Miami looked to have figured out how to stop the Wizards fast break and it resulted in multiple Heat baskets, and a complete offensive implosion for the Wizards. Miami would continue to play to their strengths using a Dragic led fast break that resulted in a great scoring run allowing the Heat to go up 15 points.
The Heat looked great to end the half, and played amazing defense thanks to Hassan Whiteside, and Justise Winslow.
Another one. ✋ (Fox Sports Sun) pic.twitter.com/1wUHnLiU02— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 4, 2016
Miami was sloppy to start the second half, however the team would clean up and return to pushing tempo shortly after a Whiteside block. This possession would turn into a controversial call, and a technical foul on Wall after a Dragic slip. Additionally the Heat made a few sloppy turnovers back to back thanks to various double teams on Wade and Dragic, however this would be the last of their mistakes.
Miami continued to score relentlessly, and forced the Wiz to shoot threes (they were terrible from beyond the arc) on the other end aside from a few fast break buckets. The Heat's pick and pop was unstoppable, and it was evident that Dragic was playing with a lot of confidence. Tyler Johnson was also spectacular to end the quarter performing on both offense and defense. As the third quarter came to a close it really appeared as if the Heat had put it away for good.
Bosh would come into the fourth quarter on fire scoring on a beautiful spin move, hitting a three, and then slamming it home.
This forced the Wizards to take a timeout, but it effectively broke the Wizards spirit, though the Heat wouldn't stop there. Miami would score consistently throughout the fourth quarter, ending the Wizard's hopes at any sort of comeback. As the game came to a close, Miami's bench appeared including appearances from Josh Richardson, Udonis Haslem, and Chris Andersen. They would play well, killing the clock for another Heat win.
When one of your team tri-captains is blocking shots into the stands late in games... pic.twitter.com/XgX2F32l3n— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) January 4, 2016