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Recap: Wizards topple the Heat 102-93 in a weird one

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This probably shouldn’t have been as close as it was

NBA: Washington Wizards at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Wizards may have played their best defensive game all season in a 102-93 win over the Heat that probably shouldn’t have been as close as it was. The Wizards got off to an excellent start and took a 61-49 lead to close out the first half, but things fell apart from there.

The Heat opened the quarter on a 10-1 run and never looked back. The Wizards held the Heat to 35 percent shooting in the third quarter, but only managed to score 10 points themselves on 19 total field goals. They had five turnovers in the quarter itself and only four made shots.

The Heat’s lead ballooned to as many as eight points in the fourth quarter but some quick post work from Markieff Morris and a bit of magic from John Wall and Bradley Beal brought Washington back in the game. They retook the lead at 84-83 and never looked back.

Takeaways

Washington can defend.

After some straight up awful performances defensively this season, the Wizards have managed to put together four straight solid defensive games and may have played their best one yet against Miami for their fourth straight victory and ninth win of the season.

The Heat only shot 41 percent throughout the game and only 35 percent in that dreadful third quarter. Two weeks ago, the Wizards aren’t winning that game. Maybe they’ve figured things out.

Otto Porter continues to be an elite third wheel

Porter should probably shoot the ball a lot more, but what he’s doing in his role now is just fine. He finished with 12 points on just eight shots and 13 rebounds.

He doesn’t need to shoot the ball or handle it to be effective — he just gets in where he fits in and it works for the Wizards. Sure, he could shoot the ball more. But when he does see more shots he never shies away from them. That’s really all that matters so long as the Wizards are winning and their offense remains elite.

The Wizards might actually be good on the road

Don’t look now, but Washington has a 4-2 record on the road so far this season. They’ve got wins over Miami, Toronto, Denver and Sacramento on the road so far this season and are off to a good start.

They were dreadful last year and that bit them in the playoffs. If they stay this good, they might be playing for a higher seed than we think.

Game Notes

  • Bradley Beal is an elite scorer now. He just notched his fourth game of 26 or more points scored this month.
  • Speaking of Beal, he and Wall combined for 22 free throws tonight to spur the offense exactly when they needed it. That’s something we haven’t always seen from these two.
  • Beal had a possession where he shot four straight free throws. He was fouled after a three point attempt and Tyler Johnson got a tech. Super cool.
  • Markieff Morris fouled out and was also ejected tonight. Morris has been pretty uneven in his return and that continued against the Heat. He showed flashes but has to get it together.

More stuff

  • GREATEST. SHOT. BLOCKING. GUARD. EVER.
  • John Wall is also too fast for everyone.
  • There wasn’t a specific moment I can pinpoint from tonight’s game, but Kara Lawson has been very good at color commentating alongside Buck. I don’t know if you all feel the same, but she’s got great insight on the sport.
  • Another win, another Winnie dance. Let’s get it.

Next up: The Wizards and Heat will play again on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Washington.