The grit of the Washington Wizards to close their 21-point deficit wasn’t enough as they lost to the Miami Heat, 113-105. There were many areas the Wizards fell short in that the Heat excelled at that led to the loss. First and foremost the defensive strategy didn’t seem to work in the first half as Kyle Lowry got hot super quick scoring 24 of his 28 points in the first half.
Washington, at the half, was down 17 and managed to rally back in the game as they scored 37 points in the third quarter after only scoring 17 in the second. The offensive scoring in the third quarter brought their deficit down to three making it more of a close game than a blowout. Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis got the offense going as well as Deni Avdija who had a career-high night in assists with 10 and was a rebound shy of a triple double.
new career high for deni in assists— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) November 24, 2022
12 PTS, 10 AST, 8 REB pic.twitter.com/sulTNCebjT
In the final quarter, both teams managed to go back and forth but the shots seemed to fall more in favor for Miami as Washington just couldn’t get their three-point range to be consistent. Back to back made three-points shots by Tyler Herro put the Heat up 107-101 forcing Coach Wes Unseld Jr. to take a timeout. After Kuzma went in for the driving lay-up with a little under two minutes in the fourth, the Heat held Washington scoreless for the remainder of the game to seal the win.
Other factors added to the Wizards loss such as 19 free throw attempts but only 11 makes as well as being out-rebounded 53-43 overall.
Kuzma scored 33 points and Porzingis added 21 points and nine rebounds. Avdija had 12 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds on the night. Will Barton off the bench had 13 points including seven assists and seven rebounds.
Outside of Lowry, the Heat had three other starters in double figures including Caleb Martin with 24 points. Bam Adebayo notched a double-double and Herro finished with 17 points and five three-pointers.
The season series is tied at one and Washington will have an opportunity to go up 2-1 as they remain in Miami to face the Heat again on Friday November 25 at 8 p.m. ET.