Wizards 102 - HEAT 129 Game Recap

Photo Credit: Oscar Baldizon
by Joe Beguiristain
HEAT.com

The Miami HEAT defeated the Washington Wizards 129-102 Saturday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. James Johnson led the way for the HEAT with 20 points. Seven other players scored in double-figures for Miami.

1. JJ Sets The Tone

From the opening tip, Washington simply had no answer for James Johnson, as the burly forward kicked things off with an aggressive one-handed jam and never looked back.

As the game progressed, JJ remained in attack mode and bullied his way inside for plays like this:

On the flip side of the ball, Johnson did his thing against Markieff Morris, Mike Scott and even Bradley Beal on a few possessions.

So yeah, he pretty much did it all.

In addition to his team-high 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting, Johnson also amassed five assists and two rebounds.

2. J. Rich Sharp On Both Ends

Like in Miami’s last matchup with the Wizards on Tuesday, Josh Richardson was the primary defender on Beal for most of the evening and did a solid job on the All-Star. In fact, Beal shot just 5-of-12 this time around thanks in part to Richardson.

Of course, J. Rich also fared well on switches and came up with this great play late in the second quarter where he got in front of Morris, stole a pass from Beal and hit TJ in stride for two on the other end:

Even though he expended a lot of energy on the defensive end and had two steals, Richardson still ended the night with 13 points on a perfect 6-of-6 shooting and four assists.

3. K.O. Meets Beal

As you’d expect, Kelly Olynyk did his usual damage around the rim offensively and drew a lot of contact inside, but his best play of the night actually came on the defensive end.

To be even more specific, it was THE best play of the night. Period.

Olynyk ended up with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting, a team-high 11 boards, two assists and two blocks.

Other Takeaways:

-Although Rodney McGruder went on a nice run in the fourth with three treys, nothing tops this play where he shook Ramon Sessions out of his shoes early in the second quarter:

McGruder finished with 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

-Bam got his 12th start of the season and well, it didn’t take long before the rookie had yet another BAM SLAM.

Naturally, he’d have two more before the night was over.

In all, Adebayo tallied six points on 3-of-5 shooting and eight boards.

-While Goran Dragić got into some early foul trouble, he still managed to make an impact.

How so?

Just check out this nifty and-one finish in the second quarter:

When it was all said and done, Dragić had 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, three assists, two rebounds and a team-high plus-30 rating.

Game Notes:

-The HEAT shot 59.1 percent and scored 76 points in the paint.

-Dwyane Wade exited the game with a mild left hamstring strain and did not return.

-Hassan Whiteside (left hip pain), Derrick Walton Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment), Derrick Jones Jr. (Sioux Falls assignment) and Dion Waiters (left ankle surgery) were inactive.

Looking Ahead:

-The HEAT will head out on a three-game west coast road trip, which begins Monday night in Portland at 10:30 PM. After that, Miami will travel to Sacramento and Los Angeles before returning home at the end of the week. The HEAT’s next game at AmericanAirlines Arena won’t be until Monday, March 19 against the Nuggets. Tickets for that matchup can be found here.