A chance to win consecutive games for the first time, the Wizards allowed one of the league's worst offensive teams, the Miami Heat, light up Verizon Center from long-range on Saturday in a 114-111 loss.
Bradley Beal (34 points, five rebounds, four assists) and John Wall (34 points, eight assists) led them but couldn't find much help elsewhere as the tandem of Goran Dragic (22 points) and Hassan Whiteside (18 points, 18 rebounds).
The next highest contributor for the Wizards was Marcin Gortat (10 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks) but no one else reached double figures until late in the fourth quarter.
Miami (4-8) trailed 42-35 midway through the second quarter but went on a run to take the lead 60-59 at halftime. Five of its buckets in that stretch were layups. When the game was blown open in the third quarter it was because of the 13-for-23 shooting that extended the lead to 91-82 entering the fourth.
-- The Wizards fell into too much dribbling and not enough passing and moving off the ball in the second half. That led to an elite defense such as Miami's loading up to the ball, forcing contested shots and being in position to grab the defensive rebound. Conversely, the Heat didn't wait to shoot. If the open look was there, they took it.
-- Miami was 13-for-27 from three-point range, getting mostly open look as the concern was bumping down on pick-and-rolls to eliminate easy looks for Whiteside at the rim. The Heat entered the game 22nd in the league in three-point accuracy (33.6%) and 28th in scoring (94.5). They had 91 points after three quarters. They finished at 48.1% shooting from three.
-- Markieff Morris (6 points) only played nine minutes after he went down with a right ankle sprain in the second quarter and didn't return. Morris was replaced by Tomas Satornasky (eight points, four assists) initially as they went to a three-guard lineup. When the Wizards started the third quarter, Jason Smith (four points) was with the first unit.
-- Andrew Nicholson made an early appearance at center and despite size and athletic disadvantage vs. Whiteside. He froze the shot-blocker with a variety of pump and ball fakes. Nicholson was on the court just six minutes but was 2-for-3 (4 points).
-- Satoransky's defense with the second unit was a bright spot as he was able to make Dragic work for his looks. At 6-7, he can recover to challenge shots. But the Heat were dominant on the boards with a 48-38 edge. Eighteen of those grabs were on the offensive end.