Five Stars is a Hot Hot Hoops exclusive series where we dig into the box score and rank the tip five players in each Heat game, using the GameScore metric as the yardstick. Due to a family emergency, I was unable to compile Five Stars’ articles for Miami’s losses versus the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls. I’ll touch on those, then we’ll dive into tonight’s 112-101 Heat win against the Washington Wizards.
Cavs 114, Heat 84
After hanging tough for most of the first half, the Heat had no answers for the Eastern Conference’s current best “Big Three.” Kevin Love (26.3), LeBron James (23.6), and Kyrie Irving (15.7) swept the top Three Stars, in much the same way that James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh used to just three seasons ago. Derrick Williams (13.8) picked up the Fourth Star, making the list for the first time this season by scoring a team-high 17 points on a six-for-10 night from the floor and two steals, an assist, and a rebound. Willie Reed (11.5) picked up the Fifth Star by scoring 10 points with 11 boards (eight offensive) and one block.
Bulls 105, Heat 100
Jimmy Butler (29.5) and Dwyane Wade (16.8) earned the two top stars for the game, doing just enough in the end to come out on the winning side of this one by five. Goran Dragic (15.5) brought the best the Heat had to offer, leading the team with 21 points on 10-of-19 shooting. He also dished out 11 assists with five rebounds. Hassan Whiteside (13.9) was just behind him, scoring 20 points on nine-of-19 shooting. Whiteside added eight boards, three blocks, two steals and a helper. Willie Reed (9.6) earned his second “Fifth Star” in two nights in just over 15 minutes on the floor, going four-for-five with seven rebounds, a block and an assist to go with his eight points.
Heat 112, Wizards 101
Goran Dragic (MIA) 25.7
Dragic scored a career-Heat-high and game-leading 34 points, on a very efficient 14-for-23 show in 30 minutes from the field. He made two-of-five from outside and all four of his foul shots, with five helpers, five boards, a steal, and a by-far game-high plus-26 rating. When Dragic got into foul trouble with four personal fouls early in the third, he was benched until the fourth. The Wizards had their best run with him out of the game. MVP!!!
We go on a run, we put together some good games and win a couple in a row, this is a big opportunity for us to show we can play. - Dragic
John Wall (WAS) 21.7
Wall drained 12-of-26 overall and one-of-five from deep, along with five-of-six foul shots for a team-high 30 points. He had eight assists, six rebounds, a steal, a block, and a minus-14 rating in a game-high 37 minutes.
Bradley Beal (WAS) 20.7
Beal played 35 minutes for the Wizards, complementing Wall’s 30 points with 29 of his own. He drained two-of-eight from three-point distance and nine-of-12 from inside-the-arc, along with all five of his free throws. He also had four steals, two rebounds, an assist and a game-worst minus-17 rating.
I have to give credit where it is due. He was shooting the ball well and he played well tonight. - Beal, on Dragic
Hassan Whiteside (MIA) 17.2
Whiteside put up his 18th double-double of the season with his 18th trip to the Five Stars (coincidence?). He had 17 points and 16 rebounds in 33 minutes, making half of his 14 field goal attempts and half of his six free throw attempts. He also had two blocked shots and a steal, finishing with a team-second-best plus-15 rating.
James Johnson (MIA) 11.3
Johnson takes his sixth trip into the Five Stars, scoring 14 points with five rebounds, three assists, and a plus-7 rating in 30 minutes off the bench for Miami. He made six-of-nine shots overall and two-of-four from the line, missing his only two three-point attempts.
Hassan Whiteside 122
Goran Dragic 68
Tyler Johnson 50
Dion Waiters 34
James Johnson 23
Josh Richardson 11
Wayne Ellington 9
Justise Winslow 6
Willie Reed 5
Rodney McGruder 3
Derrick Williams 3
Josh McRoberts 1