The Miami Heat held a 76-69 lead over the Washington Wizards with 3:47 left in the third quarter. By the end of the period, the lead ballooned to 91-70. With 7:27 remaining in the fourth, it crested at 35.
Miami led wire-to-wire and defeated the Wizards 121-100 to improve to 35-20 on the season and 3-2 on their current six-game road trip. Despite some careless turnovers and fouls in the second half — the Heat actually built a 20-point lead in the second quarter before Washington stormed back to close the half — Miami toyed with the Wizards and dominated this game.
Bam Adebayo catalyzed the late third-quarter run, getting to the foul line and scoring inside. He scored 14 of his 21 points in the third period. After attempting a season-high 21 field goals in Saturday’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, it’s nice to see Adebayo stay aggressive.
With the Heat in control of the momentum, the crowd in Washington, DC chanted “Let’s go Heat!” before a Max Strus steal led to a Jimmy Butler alley-oop throw-down in the closing seconds of the third quarter.
Listen to those "Let's go HEAT" chants on this fast break. Volume up pic.twitter.com/RCTJ9gPEYu— Miami HEAT (@MiamiHEAT) February 8, 2022
The fourth quarter started with back-to-back 3s from Max Strus and Caleb Martin. The threes continued to fall. Dewayne Dedmon made one at the end of the shot clock — his second of the night. Gabe Vincent and Kyle Lowry then hit back-to-back 3s of their own.
During that stretch, Vincent lost the ball but stole it right back for the Heat. That ignited a fast-break, and Lowry hit a corner 3. That recovery from Vincent exemplified his effort, which was always there for the young guard. But now, his shooting has improved and he looks like a quality backup point guard.
It felt absurd. The Heat ended the night shooting 18-for-32 from 3-point range, better than 56 percent. Vincent and Duncan Robinson both made three 3s in the first quarter, instrumental in providing Miami with their first 20-point lead. They each finished the night with four 3s.
It wasn’t just the shooters, though. Jimmy Butler got the Heat going with 11 first-quarter points, slicing up the defense for easy scores. Miami’s lone All-Star scored 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line to go along with three rebounds and four assists.
The Heat are off until Thursday, when they wrap up their road trip with a visit to the New Orleans Pelicans.