The Washington Wizards entered D-Wade's house at American Airlines Arena, having dropped six of their last eight basketball contests. Tonight was a different story. Washington opened the game fluid on offense and tenacious on defense, and held on to beat the top team in the East.
In the first quarter, the Wizards jumped out to an 8 point lead (20-12) after a John Wall slam. Miami immediately called timeout to regroup. The Wizards wound up closing the first quarter shooting 50 percent from the field, hit 3-of-6 three-pointers and outrebounded Miami 13-8. In an effort to play better defense, the Wizards held Miami to a lowly 19 points in the first.
In what has become a common occurence in Wizards games this season, once Wall went to the bench their 14 point lead dwindled to six with under six minutes left to play. Dwayne Wade returned to the game—after leaving in the first quarter due to apparent shoulder discomfort—Wade's All-Star play sparked his team as Miami went on a great run. At times, he went one-on-one with Bradley Beal and Wall, dishing to CB, and encouraging Justise Winslow and Hassan Whiteside to play stronger D. The Miami Heat scored the last four points to make it close going into halftime.
Both teams picked up the intensity in the second half. The Wizards came out sloppy and timid after Beal made a power dunk on a screen from Otto. Then, D-Wade took the keys back from his house and put on a spectacular show having his way with the Washington Wizards in the third period. Wiz squad had no other option than to call timeout once their 5-point lead was cut to 1 with nine minutes left to play. Eight turnovers in the third led to 12 points for the Heat. Beal hit a three to the tie the game at 69. But John Wall pulled them back ahead with the closing bucket in the third that put the Wizards back up 87-84.
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair as Goran Dragic and Dwyane Wade traded runs with Wall, Beal and Neal in the closing minutes. Though the Wizards may have gotten some advantageous calls in the closing minutes, the Wizards made the stops they needed and escaped Miami with their second win in two weeks against one of the top two teams in the East.