The Miami Heat finally put together a complete team effort and raised their level of play in the fourth quarter to outlast their opponent with a gritty 112-101 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Miami was desperate for any win to snap their five-game losing skid, but they also wanted to get back on track at the AmericanAirlines Arena as they begun a six-game home stand. Goran Dragic scored a season-high 34 points, his most in a Heat uniform, on 14-23 shooting to lead the way for the Heat’s third home win of the season out of 11 games. Hassan Whiteside put in a solid performance with 17 points and 16 rebounds and James Johnson came off the bench after his injury absence to contribute 14 points.
The Wizards were a two-man show with John Wall (30 points) and Bradley Beal (29 points) doing their damage, but the Heat dug deep on both ends of the floor in the final quarter to retake the lead and outscore their opponent 31-19. Dragic was sensational despite sitting out the majority of the third quarter after picking up his fourth foul, scoring 13 of his 34 points in the final 12 minutes.
Erik Spoelstra went with a small lineup in the second half utilizing James Johnson at the 5, limiting minutes for Josh McRoberts and Willie Reed, to help turn the game around and the team responded with an efficient 51.1 percent field goal shooting for the game and six of the nine players who logged minutes scored in double-figures.
Miami next hosts the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at 7:30pm.