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Heat lose heartbreaker in OT 107-106 to Wizards amid masterful performance by Kyle Lowry

Lowry finishes with a triple double in a passionate 51 min effort, but it’s not enough.

NBA: Miami Heat at Washington Wizards Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Heat were extremely shorthanded tonight, having seven players available, but that didn’t stop them from playing team basketball with lots of passion. Ultimately, they came up just short in OT 107-106 to the Washington Wizards regular rotation on Friday night.

Despite the loss, this is a game where fans can’t help but still admire the heart and effort that Miami showcased tonight. As a team, the only players available were Kyle Lowry, Max Strus, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic, Orlando Robinson, and Jamal Cain.

With an already pretty hefty Heat injury report this morning, several others became last minute scratches from the rotation due to nagging injuries. That list included Jimmy Butler, who sat with a sore knee. Bam Adebayo, originally listed as questionable, also was deemed unavailable with knee troubles.

Of course, Tyler Herro is still out as well with his ankle. The injury bug has hit Miami like a brick wall, and it’s hard to get into any rhythm as a team with regular rotation players being in and out of the line up or never being in to begin with (Victor Oladipo and Omer Yurtseven).

At the end of the day, there is no excuses. It’s always next man up, and this was the Heat’s game to win. It was a remarkable performance to say the least, as they opened a double digit lead in the first half. They played as a team, moved the ball, limited their turnovers, and played amazing zone defense. Sadly, fatigue played a factor in this one.

With so many guys out, it didn’t give much time to rest for the squad that was out there tonight. Towards the end of the game all the shots were short and didn’t have enough lift in the legs anymore. Max Strus was a horrific 3/14 from three, to go along with a 1/7 from three from Haywood Highsmith. Regardless of those struggles, this team brought it down to the wire.

Kyle Lowry had by far his best game ever in a Heat jersey, with an absolutely masterful 24 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds triple-double in a team leading 51 minutes of action.

He was unbelievable, and willed his team as much as he possibly could. Lowry had some huge buckets in the fourth quarter and showed why he is the “QB1”. Without him, this game could have gotten out of hand and quick. The offense was orchestrated beautifully by the point guard and did all he possibly could.

Orlando Robinson saw his first action of the season tonight and had a solid 14 points and 7 rebounds on 60% shooting. However, he had a crucial turnover late in the game where Highsmith set him up beautifully for a wide open lay up but couldn’t hold onto the ball. That bucket could’ve given Miami the lead with under a minute to go in OT.

Nikola Jovic was also impressive. Finishing with 18 points and 6 boards with 9/10 from the free throw line. He was cutting and slashing to the basket extremely well, being the beneficiary of several gorgeous Lowry assists. For the second game in a row he started out great, but kind of slowed down come second half. That’s when Highsmith took off.

Haywood Highsmith, although struggled with his shot, did all the little things for Miami tonight. He had a double double with 12 points and 13 boards, giving Miami some extra possessions on offensive rebounds and deflections. Even had a few big time buckets late in the fourth including a deep 3 pointer to give Miami the 5 point lead.

Thats when things went wrong for the Heat, as they surrendered 2 wide open threes to Bradley Beal and Kyle Kuzma which brought the game to OT. At the end, it was Washington that came away with the victory. Max Strus had a chance to win it at the buzzer but was well short.

Painful loss, especially with how hard the guys played under the circumstances, it would’ve been a nice culture type win to cap off the night.

The Heat will look to snap their now two game losing streak against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday night, but the availability from the roster has yet to be known.