Wizards beat Heat 103-100 to split home-and-home series
WASHINGTON — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 16 points and hit two 3-pointers during a crucial late stretch and the Wizards rallied for a 103-100 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Bradley Beal had 21 points to help Washington split the home-and-home series with Miami and move a half-game above the Heat in the Southeast Division standings. Miami, beat Washington 112-97 in Florida on Thursday night.
The Wizards trailed by as 16 in the third quarter and by 10 with 4:42 to play before Caldwell-Pope and Dinwiddie scored every point during a 15-2 run to give Washington a 99-96 lead with 1:43 left.
“That’s in our DNA,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We just fight.
Kyle Kuzma hit 4 of 6 free throws in the final minute for the Wizards, who also pulled within a half-game of Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn.
“Everybody’s still learning,” said Beal, one of the few returning faces on a roster that went a major offseason overhaul. “But it’s amazing to see we’re able to put some wins together while we’re still learning.”
Jimmy Butler scored 29 points for the Heat, and Tyler Herro added 20. Miami had won four in a row.
“This league is very humbling,” Butler said. “It’s fragile, and just as soon as you think you’re good and you’re high on yourself, you get hit like this.”
Caldwell-Pope started the winning run when he hit a 3 from the top of the arc, absorbed a foul and converted a four-point play to cut it to 96-90.
Later, his 3 from the right wing tied it before Dinwiddie sank one from the same spot to give Washington the lead and send a sell-out crowd to its feet.
For the Heat, losing a late fourth-quarter lead continued a recent pattern.
Miami led by nine with less than five minutes remaining in regulation of their 120-117 overtime loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 10. It nearly gave back a 25-point, fourth-quarter advantage in a 111-105 win at Utah three days later.
“You can say yeah, we learn from it, we go back to the drawing boards,” Butler said. “I’m hoping this is the last time that this happens but I can’t guarantee that.”