The Washington Wizards (5-13) defeated the Miami Heat (7-14) 103-100 on Wednesday night in Miami. Instead of fighting back from behind, Washington held on to a late lead, even when the Heat were making runs to keep the Wizards on their toes.
This win was also notable because they actually were behind for much of the game. Like most games this season, Washington played from behind, especially in the middle, Things were not looking good toward the end of the second half and for much of the beginning of the third quarter as the Heat built up a 13-point lead.
Washington was able to take a seven-point lead midway through the fourth and led 96-89 before Miami made another run to keep things close. There were some tight possessions, like a missed travel call on Kelly Olynyk that could have turned things in Miami’s favor, or even when Bradley Beal was somehow not fouled with mere seconds left in the game when Miami had a chance to try to get one more possession.
But ultimately, Washington’s zone defense kept things difficult for Miami since they shot 43.4 percent for the game as a whole. The defense was very good in particular during the second half, since Miami was held to just 35 points.
Beal kept his 25-point game streak alive, scoring 32 points, dishing 4 assists and grabbing 9 rebounds. In fact, he now has the NBA record for consecutive 25-point games with 17, over Michael Jordan who had 16 straight 25 point games in the 1988-89 season.
But I was also happy to see Deni Avdija be a bit more aggressive with the basketball. He scored 13 points and was 3-of-5 from three. But this dunk in the fourth quarter is definitely his highlight of the night.
Troy Brown Jr. also saw his first game action since Jan. 9, coincidentally against the Heat, scoring 9 points and grabbing 7 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. Though he didn’t have the biggest stat sheet on the team, Brown was definitely playing with positive energy tonight.
For the Heat. Tyler Herro led their scorers with 20 points.
All in all, this was a good win for the Wizards as they look to right the ship after a poor season start in January.
Washingon still has one more game against the Heat on Friday, Feb. 5 at 8 p.m. ET. We’ll see what happens then.