The Washington Wizards scored only 10 points in the 3rd quarter against the Miami Heat, but exploded for 31 in the the fourth. Free throws played a huge role as the Wizards got only one point from the charity stripe in the third period, but scored 18 points from the foul line in the fourth.
In the 4th quarter Bradley Beal alone scored 10 points from the charity stripe to put the game away for Washington, as they found the painted area an open freeway to the basket. Heat players were helpless to do anything against the talented guards except foul them in frustration as the Wizards ran by Miami defenders on their way to the rim.
The Heat managed a meager 92 points for the game trying to give Hassan Whiteside touches in the paint. That only lead to a rash of turnovers from ill-advised passes, and easy transition points for Washington. Were the turnovers Whiteside’s fault for demanding the ball in the paint, when he knew he was covered?
The Heat had success scoring from downtown in the 3rd quarter, because they didn’t try to make impossible passes into traffic. Against the Wizards, with their speed on transition plays, that’s not a good idea. Whiteside’s lack of speed getting back on defense wasn’t an issue in the 3rd quarter as he didn’t get trapped in the paint on a turnover or missed shot. By the way Hassan had 8 rebounds in 3rd by sticking to do what does best.
Miami played smart in third quarter committing only a single personal foul, while Washington committed 7 leading to 6 free throw points by Whiteside. As soon as the Heat attempted to guard Beal and speedy John Wall one-on-one, the game quickly got out of hand in the last period. At the end the Heat had an identity problem the Wizards took advantage of.