Bradley Beal scored 30 points and Markieff Morris pitched in with 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Washington Wizards to a 117-113 overtime victory Tuesday against the Miami Heat.
The Wizards (37-28) snapped the Heat’s two-game win streak while avoiding a season-long four-game skid with all the games at home.
The nearly 16,600 at Capital One Arena in northwest D.C. had dozens of Heat fans that egged on the Wizards faithful to help transform the game into a playoff-type atmosphere. Both teams are among the top eight in the Eastern Conference standings.
“It was a great crowd — gave us some good juice,” said Wizards head coach Scott Brooks. “We both fought. It was one of those games someone’s going to have to come away with a loss. We made enough right plays at the end.”
During the three-game skid, Brooks has lamented his team’s slow starts. That didn’t happen Tuesday as the Wizards streaked out to a 27-9 lead in the first quarter.
However, the last 4:09 of the quarter the Heat went on a 17-4 run led by Dwyane Wade’s six points and an assist. Wade, who didn’t start the game, led the Heat with 22 points and a team-high six assists.
A difference in this Wizards victory was its defense on Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who entered Tuesday sixth in the league in rebounding at 12 per game. Whiteside only grabbed six rebounds and scored eight points.
Although Miami shot 45 percent from the floor and only 9-for-33 (27 percent) from beyond the arc, the bench scored 64 points led by Wade and Tyler Johnson’s 21.
Beal said the 18 turnovers helped keep the Heat in the game.
“That’s been our Achilles’ heel the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We just have to be better taking care of the ball and be smarter, be stronger with the ball and make sure we get a shot up every time.”
The Wizards will play back-to-back games on the road starting Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans and Saturday against the Heat.
“We just go to try and do some of the stuff we did tonight,” Morris said. “We play [Miami] on a back-to-back and go to New Orleans. [The Pelicans] are a hot team right now. So we just go to slow them down and get two road wins.”