With the four seed locked down, the Wizards elected to rest three of their starters for the final game of the season, a road game in Miami on Wednesday. The Wizards were playing for 50 wins, a benchmark the team hasn’t hit since before I was born. The Heat, on the other hand, were fighting for their playoff lives: They needed this win (plus a loss from Indiana or Chicago) to make the playoffs, after a turnaround almost as miraculous as Washington’s this season.
The Wizards looked in control early, forcing turnovers left and right and moving the ball on offense. They lead by five after the first quarter, but the Heat took over in the middle of the second quarter and never took their foot off the gas.
The Wizards lost 110-102, finishing the season 49-33.
Otto Porter is back and ready for the playoffs
Otto Porter returned to the lineup tonight after missing two games with back spasms. He was under a tight minutes restriction, but in 14:41 he poured on 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Porter is a good rebounder for his position, and that skill will be important as Washington prepares to face Dwight Howard in the first round with Ian Mahinmi on the shelf with a calf injury.
After morning shootaround, Otto Porter yelled: "I'm back, baby!"— Candace Buckner (@CandaceDBuckner) April 13, 2017
His first 7 minutes on the floor indicates that. Porter has 6 pts & 5 rebs
Trey Burke and Sheldon Mac put on a show
Neither Burke or Mac have played much in the second half of the season for Washington, and it’s possible this will be the the last time either of them get on the court this season. But both worked hard to make their case tonight: Burke played 30 minutes and had 27 points, shooting a blistering 77 percent from the field.
Mac followed up his 33-point performance for Rio Grande in the D-League playoffs with 18 points in 34 minutes tonight. His explosiveness was on full display:
Missing 50 wins hurts, but the team ultimately made the right call in resting their stars tonight. Onward to the playoffs!