The Heat started slow, with the Wizards scoring the game’s first 7 points. Miami struggled to find their legs early, missing shots that usually fall for them. Unfortunately, offense wasn’t their only problem, Miami’s defense was abysmal as Washington sprinted to an 11 point lead.
The Heat just couldn’t seem to get anything to go, forcing them inserted their reserves early. Bradley Beal continued to batter the Heat sparking a 12-2 Wizards run to give the Wizards an 18 point lead. The Heat would chip away at the lead thanks to solid play from Justise Winslow, Tyler Johnson. Around the two minute mark Wade would come in and score six straight points moving the Heat within seven.
It was a needed boost considering how the game started, and Miami would continue to work and head into the second quarter down only 5.
Miami came out in the second with a lot more energy. Still, Washington would respond following the Heat’s 19-4 lead as they increased their lead to seven. For the Heat it was Tyler Johnson doing work and driving aggressively — he looks to be 100% since hurting his knee two games ago. Miami’s ball movement on offense was also very good, they looked for the best shot, not just average ones.
Some great defensive plays would lead to easy Miami buckets, allowing them to tie the game. Hassan Whiteside would reenter around the six minute mark looking to redeem himself after a scoreless first quarter. He would nearly immediately score a beautiful bank shot over Mike Scott.
Washington would get themselves on a bit of a run to take an eight point lead. Goran Dragic would help Miami settle down a bit as he scored five straight points. As the quarter came to a close, the Heat would get a few good looks but miss near the end, still there were positives headed into the second half.
The Heat continued to be aggressive in the third led by Tyler Johnson. Still while the Heat were able to get to the line, free throws continued to be a problem. Where the Heat really stood out tonight was their ability to steal the ball, at times players like Dragic, Josh Richardson and Johnson seemed to be clairvoyant as they stepped in to steal the ball. These defensive plays were very productive as they led to multiple three pointers, bringing the Heat within two.
The Heat really looked sharp early on, they made shots, and great defensive plays. Their three point shooting was also very good with Richardson, and Johnson both hitting nice looks. Washington wasn’t done though. They continued to stay on top, making key buckets to extend the lead. It really turned into a back and forth battle between the two teams.
This would continue for the most of the quarter, but the Wizards would start to pull away in the final minutes of the quarter. While the Heat would score some nice buckets before the end of the quarter (i.e Winslow and-1), they would still head into the fourth down six.
The Heat came out in the fourth looking ready to take over as they cut the lead down to one. It was Justise Winslow who would score five straight points to do it. He’s been on a tear lately and it’s amazing to watch. The Heat really seemed to start hitting big buckets as Wade capped off a 10-0 run on a beautiful and one to take the lead.
Unfortunately, Washington wouldn’t go quietly into the night as they hit big shots of their own to go on a 8-0 run to steal the lead back and go up six. The Wizards are very solid, they showed that tonight even without John Wall.
Miami continued to fight back getting back within two off huge threes by TJ and Goran. On defense Miami did their best to keep the rock out of Bradley Beal’s hands, knowing that the Wizards would depend on him in the final minutes.
With 3:15 left, Tyler Johnson would tie the game up once again. On the other end Beal would score putting the Wiz up two. Miami would take some questionable looks on offense resulting in a weird sequence where Miami would grab four of their own boards and miss all of their shots. With 53 seconds to go, Josh Richardson would score to bring the Heat within three. The Wizards would miss on their possession with the ball going to Wade, who would dart down the court for an impressive and one. He’d hit the free throw to tie the game once again. The Wizards would go to Beal for the final attempt, he’d miss and send the game to OT.
It was the Wizards who’d draw first blood in OT off a Beal drive. Miami would blow a couple possessions and alternate their line-up like a hockey overtime period. Still the Heat looked cold, a bad time to enter a scoring drought. Luckily, Whiteside would deliver a huge block that Wade would save resulting in a Winslow layup to tie things up around the 2:30 mark.
On the other end Gortat would sink two free throws to take the lead, but Dragic would immediately tie things up again. A JRich foul on defense would lead to Markieff Morris scoring one out of two free throws to take the lead once again. Unfortunately Morris would follow his one miss up with a huge three just a few seconds later. Miami would get another shot, but Wade would turn the ball over. The Wizards missed on their possession, allowing JRich to dart down the floor and get to the line, but he’d miss one of them.
As the Wizards attempted to close things up, Goran and Wade trapped, stealing the ball. Unfortunately the refs called a foul on Dragic. Just when things seemed out of reach for Miami, Wade would get fouled on a three point attempt. He’d make all of them to bring the Heat within one.
Washington would go to Sotoransky, after what seemed like a clear five second violation on Morris. Miami would foul him and he’d miss one. Down two, the Heat went to Wade for the final bucket. He’d miss an easy look, and Kelly would miss the follow up. The Heat would foul Oubre, and he’d put the game out of reach in a very tough loss.