With three minutes and 19 seconds left in the Miami Heat’s game against the Washington Wizards, Kelly Olynyk made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 98. It was a welcome shot for Olynyk, who had just missed a chance to grab a defensive rebound. Rui Hamichura instead secured the ball, leading to a Bradley Beal layup.
The Heat then had a chance to take the lead after Beal turned the ball over. But Goran Dragic — who has looked bad since returning from his injury — missed a jumper, and Adebayo committed a loose-ball foul going for the rebound. But the Heat were in the penalty, and Davis Bertans sunk both free throws.
Miami had another chance in the game, after Adebayo made a floater to pull the game to within 100-101 with 1:26 left. And Alex Len missed a 3-pointer, giving Miami yet another chance to take the lead. Jimmy Butler got all the way to the rim, but had his layup attempt pop out. Moments later, Dragic missed a 3-pointer.
Ish Smith rebounded the ball, and only 7.2 seconds remained. The Heat had to foul, and Beal made both free throws on the other end. Miami called a timeout to advance the ball, but Tyler Herro didn’t even hit the rim on a potential game-tying shot.
The Heat fell to 7-14 on the season, losing to a Wizards team that came into Wednesday’s match-up with an NBA-worst 3-13 record. And Washington rested Russell Westbrook on the second night of a back-to-back.
Wednesday night’s performance was yet more confirmation that Miami just isn’t a good basketball team — even with Butler back in the lineup. The Heat came into the fourth-quarter with a five-point lead, but lost it while Beal was on the bench. Miami’s last two recent losses — squandering a 10-point lead late against the Charlotte Hornets and now this one — are inexcusable for a team that thinks itself capable of righting this ship.
After scoring 65 points in the first half, Miami could barely muster any offense after intermission. The Wizards went to a zone defense and left Andre Iguodala open to take 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Iguodala missed both of his attempts from downtown in the fourth.
Iguodala’s shooting struggles convinced Erik Spoelstra to play Olynyk in the fourth quarter, something he has rarely done this season. (By the way, at what point does Iguodala think to himself, “This team is worse than the Grizzlies team I stayed away from last year”?) But Olynyk was a mixed bag — hitting that key 3, but blowing that crucial rebound. He was 2-for-9 from the field.
Herro led Miami with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-9 from beyond the arc. Wednesday marked the first time Herro had it going from 3-point range, but he largely disappeared in the second half.
Butler added 19 points, including 9-of-11 shooting from the foul line, nine assists and eight rebounds. Adebayo added 17 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. And the Heat still lost to the Wizards.
Miami will face Washington again Friday night at 8 p.m.