Having lost their last three games, the Washington Wizards were definitely in need of a win badly last night when they hosted the Miami Heat. It wasn’t easy, but Washington was able to eek out a 117-113 overtime win over their division foes. Bradley Beal had an extremely efficient night shooting the basketball, scoring 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting, including knocking down 6-of-7 three pointers. He also had seven assists and six rebounds, the negative were his four turnovers. As a team, Washington struggled with that particular area of their game for much of the second half. Nearly every member of the Washington starting five recorded double-figures in the scoring column, and they needed every bit of it. Kelly Oubre’s 14 points off the bench were huge, none bigger than the two foul shots he hit to ice the game. The Heat went down early and relied on their second unit to get them back in the game, that group was led by Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson, who had 22 and 21 points respectively. That second unit scored a staggering 64 points, while Miami’s starters scored 49. “Mr. Wade County” himself missed a floater late in the extra period that would have tied things a 115 a piece. It was a hard fought win for Washington and there was plenty positive, but the biggest negative may have been losing Otto Porter Jr to a hip injury. He’s listed as day-to-day for now. The Wizards also had a flare up with their turnovers, but they stayed poised when it mattered most and got an important win.
“It was a competitive game [and] two teams were fighting for playoff position.” – Scott Brooks
The Wizards held a five point lead with 1:54 left in regulation, Beal had just nailed a three pointer. Miami’s next offensive possession featured several second chances, but none of the next three shots would fall. Again, they’d get the offensive rebound, but Marcin Gortat gave up his body and drew a charge on the driving Josh Richardson. Washington’s next possession resulted in missed floater by Satoransky (19 points, 7 assists), Miami got the rebound and got it to their wily veteran. Wade dribbled up court, gave Markieff Morris a hesitation dribble (Morris was at the three point line) and drove baseline. He attacked the basket and finished through contact, Beal was called for the foul. Wade completed the three-point play to even things at 105. The Wizards got the ball back with 22.8 seconds left, they drained clock before Brad attempted a step-back jump shot. The jumper was off, leading to the extra period.
Neither team scored for the first 50 seconds of overtime, Washington broke through after a Morris offensive rebound led to a nice drive and finish by Beal. For nearly two minutes, both teams traded missed opportunities on the offensive end. Miami got on the board when Whiteside blocked a shot of Oubre and Wade dove out of bounds to save the errant ball, the ball got to Winslow and he finished in transition to even things at 107 a piece. Washington would take a lead after Gortat was fouled, he knocked down both free throws. The Heat responded with a crafty shot from Dragic in the paint, Morris (16 points, 13 rebounds) got the ball inside on the ensuing possession with Richardson on him and he drew the foul. Markieff would split the pair, giving his team a 110-109 lead with 1:36 left in the game. Gortat made another play, this time on the defensive end of the floor as he drew a charge on Justice Winslow (15 points). Leading 113-109, the Wizards appeared to have a safe lead. Richardson was fouled by Gortat with 30 seconds left, down four Miami needed both free throws from Josh. He’d split the pair and the Heat had to start playing the foul game. They sent Tomas to the line with 22 seconds left, but he could only knock down one of the two attempts. Miami’s next offensive possession was defended pretty well by the Wizards, trailing by four the Heat needed to get a quality shot. They weren’t able to, but Washington bailed them out by fouling a three point shooter. Oubre was called for making contact with Wade on a corner triple, on replay, it certainly looked as if Oubre had just made a clean contest. Wade went to the line and knocked down all three shots from the charity stripe to cut the once four point deficit to three with 12.9 seconds left.
Washington called timeout to advance the ball to halfcourt, Miami played aggressive defense and nearly stole the inbounds pass. The Wizards finally got the ball inbounds and Satoransky was again fouled by the Heat. Yet again, Satoransky split the pair and Miami found themselves down just two. The Heat got the ball into the hands of their franchise leader and Wade got to the foul line. He got Satoransky to bite on a pump fake, once he went by Dwyane went to one of his patented shots, a right handed floater/push-shot. Markieff Morris did a good job of rotating over to contest it and it may have been just enough to make Wade adjust as the shot didn’t fall. Oubre got the rebound and was fouled instantly, he would knock down both free throws to give Washington a two possession lead and the win.
“We lost a couple close games, the past games. We should have taken care of business before overtime, but a win is a win and we will take it.” – Markieff Morris
The Wizards got out to a great start in the first quarter, starting the game on a 10-2 run. Building an 18 point lead at one point, most of which came from great ball movement and good defense. They didn’t turn the ball over at all in the first eight minutes of the game, a Morris floater put Washington ahead 27-9 with 4:29 left in the period. Miami put their second unit in, consisting of four guards and Kelly Olynk at center. The Heat took off from that point, they went on a 16-6 run to close the quarter, cutting the deficit to five heading to the second quarter. The Wizards got great contributions from their starting backcourt, Beal and Satoransky combined to score 17 points.
The Heat picked up where they left off to start the second quarter, Tyler Johnson scored eight points in this period. Miami clawed their way back to even things at 39 with 6:56 in the half, but Washington would respond. Mike Scott started the run with a driving layup, a couple minutes later a Morris dunk pushed the Washington lead to nine. The teams would trade baskets to close the half and the Wizards held a 59-50 lead at the break, Beal led all scorers with 15 points. With Satoransky running the show, Beal took advantage of playing off the ball and made Miami pay. Johnson kept Miami in it, his aggressiveness resulted in five trips to the line. He didn’t take advantage of the charity stripe, but his ability to draw fouls would put a damper on Washington runs.
Miami started the third period on a 9-2 run, Johnson capped it off with a triple to cut the deficit two. Again Washington would respond in a quarter where both teams had no issue putting the ball in the basket. The Wizards shot 60% from the floor and Miami shot 54%, Ramon Sessions got his first basket as a Wizard this season as well. He’s not the greatest at getting others involved, but he has a way of drawing fouls. He got to the line a couple of times and it’s too early to determine if his means anything regarding minutes for Tim Frazier. It was also clear that Washington missed Oubre in their game against the Pacers, he hit a big three pointer with 2:28 left in the period to extend the Washington lead to six. The Wizards took a six point lead into the fourth quarter.
The smooth ball movement that was seen earlier in the game, was nearly gone for Washington. Miami upped their ball pressure on the perimeter and it really threw Washington’s ball handlers off. Tomas tipped in a missed shot from Mike Scott to give Washington a six point lead with 6:26 left in the game. Every single time the Wizards started to pull away, the Heat would come up with a much needed basket. A Washington turnover would lead to a Tyler Johnson layup in transition, tying things at 100 with 3:13 to go. Brad would respond with his one of his go-to moves, he jabs hard before spinning back to take a jumpshot. He routinely creates space when using this move, again it worked as it gave the Wizards a two point lead. A couple of possessions later, Beal would hit a three pointer, his 28th point of the night to give his team a five point lead.