Much like their last game against the Charlotte Hornets, they played well enough in the first half to open up a lead. The difference tonight was much improved shooting from Dwyane Wade, including a vintage 10-point personal run in the first quarter, as well as some more energy overall, notably in an acrobatic corner pass to....no one in the second quarter.
Justise Winslow showed more confidence in his shot and decision making with an efficient shooting night. He also got to the free throw line often and took advantage going 7-8. Hassan Whiteside’s numbers might not stand out, but he did score all 10 points and grabbed all but one of his nine rebounds in the first half.
The most impressive performance from a Heat player tonight might have been Rodney McGruder, and he’s making a strong case to crack the rotation this season. His gorgeous stutter move out on the perimeter, giving him a clear lane for an easy basket, was one notable highlight but there was also an offensive rebound and two subsequent free throws with a second left in the first half that perfectly summarized what he brings to the table.
Miami’s best overall moment came in a 12-0 run in the second half to take control of the game. The defense allowed just 40% field goal shooting in the first half, however once again they yielded a ton of points in the third quarter — this time allowing 38 Wizards points led by John Wall and Bradley Beal.
The Heat were also missing eight players, with Udonis Haslem the lone available player who didn’t enter the game. Four of the six bench players who did play scored in double figures.
With the loss, the team will try to regroup back home at the AmericanAirlines Arena when they next host the Orlando Magic on Monday at 7:30pm.