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Heat hold on to beat Wizards 115-109

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The Wizards and Heat would go back and forth in a battle of attrition, but it was the Heat who would hold on for the win.

NBA: Washington Wizards at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1st Quarter:

The Heat got out ahead early with some great defense. They frustrated the Wizards, getting Thomas Bryant into foul trouble and causing Scott Brooks to bolt onto the court and get a technical.

The Wizards just didn’t seem to have anything for the Heat, taking bad shots. The Heat would go on a 12-2 run. The Heat offense looked great as they sliced through the key and got easy looks from three.

The Wizards would find their groove around the 6 minute mark with Bradley Beal taking the reins. Unfortunately for them, the Heat just didn’t slow down.

The pace would slow down towards the end of the quarter, but still the Heat would head into the second ahead seven with Whiteside leading the charge.

2nd Quarter:

The Wizards came alive to start the second going on an 11-3 run. They’d bring things within two despite Miami continuing to succeed on the offensive end.

The Heat defense seemed to become porous as the Wizards caught fire, taking the lead.

The Heat and Wizards would exchange lead changes multiple times as the quarter progressed. It was Whiteside, Winslow and McGruder who’d step up for the Heat in the final minutes of the half. The Heat would take a three point lead into halftime.

3rd Quarter:

Miami was cold to start the third, allowing Bradley Beal to take advantage. Still, it wouldn’t take Miami that long to get going on the offensive end, as they began another back and forth battle.

Whiteside remained consistent for the Heat, continuing to take advantage down low and securing yet another double double.

I also have to shout out James Johnson who looked fantastic tonight, driving and hitting a lot of threes. When he’s hot, the Heat are a different team.

Miami’s offense looked really solid, but the Wizards were able to stay in it because of weak defense. It’s strange to see the Heat struggle this much on defense after so many great December showings.

The Heat opened things up a towards the end of the quarter, going on an 11-2 run with Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo leading the charge.

They would go into the fourth quarter up eleven.

4th Quarter:

Josh Richardson would start things off in the fourth with a huge block on Ariza. He’d catch fire keeping the Heat lead alive.

The Wizards would battle back within five as turnovers became a problem for the Heat once again. Dwayne Wade would calm things down on the offensive end, but the Wizards would hang around.

Justise Winslow would airball twice costing Miami a couple of possessions, but the Wizards wouldn’t be able to convert on the other end.

Thomas Satoransky traveled on a key possession for the Wizards allowing the Heat to catch a bit of a break. However Beal would get them within three on the following possession.

Wade would go 1/2 form the free throw line after a strong drive, allowing Beal to get the Wiz within one. But a huge Justise drive would be the dagger for Miami.

Wade would seal things with free throws and the Heat would get over .500 in a well earned win.