The Miami Heat managed to secure their second straight victory by defeating the Washington Wizards 117-114 to improve to 4-8 on the year. The 117 points were a season high and Miami sank 13 three pointers to compliment 51 percent shooting from the field overall.
The Heat had six different players score in double figures, led by Goran Dragic who 22 points with 6 assists and Hassan Whiteside who continued his torrid double-double pace with 18 points, 18 rebounds, and 3 blocks. The Heat also got a season-high 17 points from James Johnson on 7/8 shooting, a season-high 12 points from starting PF Derrick Williams, 15 points (all in the second half) from Josh Richardson, and 16 points + a season-high 8 assists from Dion Waiters.
There were 19 lead changes first half and both teams were pretty hot offensively to start, but Miami used a big third quarter to build a cushion. By the mid-4th quarter, Miami was up by 16 points, but Washington’s dynamic backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal could not be stopped all game and the duo rained jumpers on Miami to make it a close game late. Wall and Beal each finished with 34 points. Wall shot 5-6 from downtown (something tells me thats a personal best for him in terms of accuracy + volume) while Beal was a more manageable 4-11 from three and 12-26 overall.
Furthermore, Miami’s free throw shooting caused some issues for the team late. Miami was 7-16 from the free throw line in the 4th quarter alone after a very solid 8-10 showing through three quarters. Unfortunately, there isn’t a single player to pin most of the blame on whereas in the past, Miami’s low league ranking could be attributed to a player like Shaquille O’Neal, who was so dominant otherwise that it wasn’t as much of a crutch. Something has to turn around for a team that’s ranked dead last in the league at foul shooting, but the fact is Miami employs many veterans who each have multiple under-70 percent foul shooting seasons on their resumes.
Still, you take any road win you can and hopefully Miami’s on the path towards building something with their first winning streak of the year. The Heat head to Philadelphia to take on the Sixers Monday at 7:00.