The Washington Wizards crept in front of the Miami Heat as late as midway through the fourth quarter, but Dwayne Wade proved too much to handle as Washington fell 99-90 at American Airlines Arena Monday night.
Bradley Beal posted 18 points for the Wizards, while Martell Webster and Drew Gooden added another 17 and 15, respectively. Marcin Gortat proved a rebound king, matching his career high of 18 on the night.
Wade and LeBron James set the tone early in the night, however. In fact, less than five minutes into the game, the duo recorded 13 of the Heat’s 16 points to outpace the Wizards’ early six. But, Washington recovered a bit, thanks in part to a jumper from Gooden and Otto Porter Jr.’s only basket of the night, which brought the Wizards within eight points at the end of the first quarter.
Washington matched Miami point-for-point in the second quarter to carry their eight-point deficit into the second half of the game.
Out of the locker rooms, the Wizards – namely, Gortat – looked fired up. In fact, 10 of Gortat’s 14 points came in the third quarter alone, and the majority of them happened within the first six minutes out of the break.
Trevor Ariza and Al Harrington each hit threes in the final 2:32 of the quarter to allow Gortat the tying shot.
But, whatever worked for Washington in the third quarter failed to carry over into the fourth. Gooden and Webster remained on a roll, but Wade’s 13 points in the final 12 minutes of play quickly pulled Miami back in front.
Trailing by just one point with 5:54 remaining, the Heat called a timeout; afterwards, they went on a 12-0 run to silence the Wizards’ offense.
Beal and Webster each hit late 26-footers to help Washington hit the 90-point mark, but the Heat held on to win it 99-90.
With the loss, the Wizards are now 33-30 and 17-15 on the road.