After Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stuck a dagger in D.C. with a game-winning three on Wednesday, the law of averages did its thing as Max Strus came up short on his own triple for the win.
The game had no business being close at all though as the Heat seemed to be waving the proverbial white flag coming into the matchup. Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler both joined Tyler Herro among their many inactives, leaving just seven players available for coach Erik Spoelstra.
The Heat lineup — or what was left of it — wouldn’t relent against a relatively healthy Wiz side. Both sides played it close early with six lead changes in the first quarter and neither team building a lead of more than five as Washington took Q1, 33-31.
Miami managed to pull away in the second quarter thanks to the efforts of Nikola Jovic and Kyle Lowry, who combined for 19 of their 38 points in Q2. Lowry played all 24 minutes of the first half for a near triple-double with 14 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists.
Kristaps Porzingis paced Washington with 14 points and nine rebounds of his own while Bradley Beal had 10 points off three triples as D.C. trailed, 69-57.
The Wizards began their rally late in the third quarter that extended to the start of fourth. After trailing 85-72 with 4:13 left in Q3, they pulled ahead with 10:31 in the final frame thanks to a 16-5 run that was bookended by a pair of Corey Kispert triples. He finished with 17 points and a season-high five threes on the night.
COR33333Y.— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 19, 2022
he has a new season-high with 5 from B33333YOND the arc. pic.twitter.com/nBFl2l9oJM
The remainder of the game was an absolute slugfest as both teams combined for only 35 points the rest of the way. Washington scored just three points in OT but that proved to be enough with the Heat managing just two.
On a night that the Wizards franchise celebrated its vaunted Big 3 of Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler, and Antawn Jamison, their new Big 3 came up large. The Porzingis, Beal, and Kyle Kuzma trio combined for 68 points and the home side needed every last one of them.
Washington can make it two in a row on Sunday as they host the Charlotte Hornets sandwiched between a rematch with Miami on Wednesday.