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Wizards vs. Heat final score: Mathews’ and Avdija’s big performances not enough in 128-124 loss

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A poor third quarter was too much for Washington to overcome in this game.

Miami Heat v Washington Wizards
Garrison Mathews had some extended playing time tonight for the Washington Wizards.
Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Washington Wizards (2-8) lost to the Miami Heat (4-4) on Saturday evening 128-124 in a game where Washington’s top stars all sat out the game, but some younger players stepped up, though it wasn’t enough.

I’m not sure what to think of the game which I’ll get to later. The more important thing is to focus on the coronavirus. Bradley Beal sat out the game because he was a close contact for a positive coronavirus case, namely Jayson Tatum’s. In the days ahead, we may see Washington players test the positive for the virus, which has killed over 370,000 people and infected over 22 million. But given that the NBA is hesitant to stop games unless their rosters are stripped bare (or below eight players), it’s not something I would do.

Anyway, Russell Westbrook sat this game out as well due to a quad injury. I’m not sure what to think about the injury at the moment, but it at least gave Raul Neto another start and Garrison Mathews some extended playing time.

And if that weren’t enough, Thomas Bryant played briefly and left the game early due to an apparent knee injury.

Even Moritz Wagner and Troy Brown got time again as well, though it was likely due to Beal and Westbrook sitting this game out.

As for my feeling on the game itself, the Wizards were back to letting the Heat do whatever they wanted, though they did keep it relatively close in the first half and were down just 75-71. Let me say it again. 75-71! If the Wizards weren’t shooting well to start the game, they would have been blown out of the Capital One Arena!

Both teams cooled off in the third quarter, but the Wizards did ... by a bit too much. they only shot 23.1 percent overall and allowed the Heat to enter the fourth quarter with a commanding 103-86 lead. Though it wasn’t enough, we ultimately saw Garrison Mathews score 22 points to lead Washington and Deni Avdija scored a career-high 20 points and made a couple lat e threes to make this game interesting toward the end.

Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 26 points.

The Wizards’ next game is on Monday, Jan. 11 against the Phoenix Suns at 7 p.m. ET. I’m still not feeling good from the events of this week and ... yeah. It’s hard to be a Wizards fan right now. But somehow, someway, this too shall pass.