The Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 102-93 on Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.
Here's analysis of what went down...
Defense won this one:
Wizards head coach Scott Brooks and his players often say defense is extra important because it can lead to wins on nights when their offense isn't clicking. On Wednesday night, that is exactly what happened.
Now, the Wizards still managed a respectable 102 points, but they shot just 41 percent and in the third quarter only scored 10. Meanwhile, on defense, the Wizards held the Heat to 93 points and 41.6 percent shooting.
The Wizards have now kept their opponents to less than 100 points in four straight games. That matches their longest such streak since the 2014-15 season.
The Wizards have won all four of those games in what is their longest winning streak of the season so far. It has been a nice response by Washington after their ugly loss to the Mavericks just over a week ago.
One could argue Miami (6-8) is much better than their record. This was among the Wizards' best wins of the season so far. It was one thing to do it against Atlanta and Sacramento, but the Heat could be in the playoffs come April.
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Wall, Keef took off early:
John Wall entered this game banged up, having sprained his ankle in the Wizards' win over the Kings on Monday to go along with a slew of ailments already holding him back. He wasn't hampered by it one bit.
Wall had 16 points in the first half, eight in each of the first two quarters. And just like Monday, Wall caught fire early from three. He hit his first two shots from long range.
Wall's best highlight, though, resulted in a missed shot.
It was this nutmeg of Hassan Whiteside on the fastbreak:
That's just disrespectful.
Wall, though, slowed down a bit in the second half. He finished with 27 points and six assists on 9-for-21 from the field.
Markieff Morris also got off to a hot start. He had 10 points in his first seven minutes including two threes. He ended up with 15 points in 22 minutes before he not only fouled out, but also got ejected with a second technical. Not often you see that, but when you're already out of the game, might as well give the refs an earful.
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Bad third quarter:
The Wizards held a 12-point lead at halftime, but quickly saw things unravel in the third. The Heat outscored the Wizards 25-10 in the frame with the Wizards shooting just 4-for-19 from the field. It was their worst quarter of the season without question.
Goran Dragic got hot and scored nine points in the third, but this one was all on the Wizards' offense. They couldn't get anything going and it was ugly.
Dragic kept going in the fourth. He took advantage of a mismatch in size against Tim Frazier on several possessions. At one point he posted up Frazier and banked in a turnaround jumper with ease. Dragic ended up with 21 points.
Off-night for Gortat:
Marcin Gortat had a long night dealing with Whiteside down low in this one. While Whiteside had a strong game with 14 points and 21 rebounds, Gortat was held to just two points and five rebounds. He never found a rhythm offensively as the Heat did a good job defending the Wizards' pick-and-roll, which is usually automatic. Gortat finished 0-for-6 from the field.
Gortat was very upset with himself after some recent games where he was outmatched on the boards. He won't be happy with this one, either.
The Wizards return home only to see the Heat again. They host Miami on Friday with a 7 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Washington.