NBA Wizards 

“Neal before Zod”, Neal’s strong game helps Wizards take down Heat

Coming into the game the Wizards were again without Marcin Gortat and Nene who missed the game for a personal reason and a strained left calf respectfully. They were also unsure how healthy John Wall would be after banging knees the other night. But the always competitive John Wall toughed it out and suited up for the up and down Washington Wizards, who found themselves at the bottom of the southeast division at 9-10.

The Wizards backcourt was the star tonight, not just the starting backcourt of Wall and Beal who combined for 47 points. Reserve Gary Neal also had 21 points off the bench to help give the Wizards a 114-103 win over the East leading Miami Heat. Neal was 9-of-12 from the field including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc, continuing his strong play for the Wizards. On the season he is shooting 50% from the field and 45% from three!

From the start of the game the Wizards seemed to be in control taking a 10 point lead after the first, the Heat managed to keep it close and had a solid chance of taking momentum of the game late. On what looked like a missed travel call, Beal was able to find Gary Neal for a corner three to put the Wizards up five in what was the clinching basket.

Despite the win all wasn’t right for the Wizards, as the defense allowed the Heat to shot 59% from the field. Dwayne Wade especially had it going for the Heat, scoring 26 points on 12-15 shooting. Despite shooting 7-of-7, Hassan Whiteside wasn’t able to be much of a factor tonight as the Wizards small ball lineup effectively kept him out of the game, he didn’t play in the fourth.

With Gortat and Nene missing and Humphries hurt, the Wizards were forced to use extremely small lineups at times with Hollins the only traditional center (he only played 15 minutes). Humphries and Blair were also playing the role of traditional bigs (they played 18 combined minutes). Jared Dudley and Otto Porter played a lot of minutes at the four(power forward) and five (center) respectively for the Wizards, both had solid games. Porter especially, as he pulled down his second double-double in as many games with 13 points and 14 rebounds for the undersized Washington Wizards.

With the loss the Heat move to 12-7 and look to bounce back against the Charlotte Hornets on December 9th, while the 9-10 Washington Wizards play at home against the struggling Houston Rockets on the same day.

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