For most of their 114-111 loss to the Miami Heat on Saturday night, the Wizards played without their starting power forward, Markieff Morris, who went down after twisting his ankle in the second quarter and never returned.
The dropoff was stark after Morris left, as the Wizards struggled defensively against a Heat team that usually has problems scoring. But Morris is expected to be fine after X-rays came back negative on his ankle.
"I think he's going to be alright," head coach Scott Brooks said. "I just wanted to be real cautious going into the second half. They were playing a lot of smallball. I'm assuming he will be fine for tomorrow's practice and the next game."
That next game happens to be against the Phoenix Suns, the team that traded Morris to Washington last February. Morris too believes he will be good to go on Monday.
"I'll be good," he said. "I could have continued playing."
Morris' presence was sorely missed for the Wizards, who fell to 3-9 on the season. The Heat outrebounded Washington 48-38 and score 42 of their points in the paint.
John Wall and Bradley Beal each had strong nights offensively with 34 points apiece. But besides them, only Marcin Gortat reached double digits and he didn't get there until the fourth quarter.
Gortat had his best game of the season with 16 rebounds, five blocks and four assists. But Morris - who only logged nine minutes - was needed at times on defense with Heat star Hassan Whiteside (18 points, 18 rebounds) down low.
"It was tough," guard Bradley Beal said. "Having that physical presence who can stretch the floor as well, and a guy who can help rebound [is important]. It helps out Marcin, who was battling one-on-one with the beast down there. Us guards need to help him out more. Not having Kief was a little tough for us, but we still had chances to win. Guys have to step up. When guys go down, guys have to step up. We still had a chance to win."
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