The Miami HEAT fell to the Washington Wizards 114-103 Monday night at AmericanAirlines Arena. Dwyane Wade led the way for the HEAT with 26 points and nine assists.
1. Wade’s World
There are some nights where you simply can’t stop a player no matter what. Washington must have had that feeling with Wade on Monday night. With the HEAT down in the second quarter, Wade went right at Otto Porter and scored 10 of his 26 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the period. He aggressively attacked the rim and hit a number of floaters. Wade carried that over into the third quarter, where he started to convert from the perimeter. He converted midrange jumpers, bank-shots from just outside the paint and baseline splashdowns. In short, he was in the zone.
While Wade led the team in scoring, he also dished out some great feeds to his teammates. Both he and Goran Dragic made a late charge down the stretch, but it unfortunately wasn’t enough. Wade shot an extremely efficient 12-of-15 for his 26 points, dished out nine assists and grabbed seven boards.
2. Dragic Aggressive Again
Dragic kept up his torrid play of late and did a little bit of everything against the Wizards. He pushed tempo as usual, but also relentlessly attacked the basket in the half court. Late in the fourth quarter, Dragic nailed a corner three and threw a perfect bounce pass to Wade on the break to narrow the gap to three with 4:06 left. As a whole, the backcourt duo combined for 18 assists on the night. While Miami ultimately fell short, it was still great to see Wade and Dragic continue to develop their chemistry.
The point guard’s most impressive play came just as the first half was winding down. Dragic received the ball on the break after Wade came up with the defensive rebound. The Slovenian then turned on the jets, hit John Wall with the Euro-Step and got the layup to go.
Dragic finished the game with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, nine assists and three rebounds.
3. Hassan Whiteside Has a Quick Start
With the Wizards playing small-ball in the absence of most of their frontcourt, Whiteside went to work early on. The powerful center did the bulk of his damage in the paint thanks to some great lobs from his teammates, but he also hit a midrange bank shot in the first quarter. On the other side of the ball, he swatted three shots, including one on DeJuan Blair.
While Whiteside punished the rim often, perhaps his most impressive slam came late in the first half. With 2:26 to go in the second quarter, Whiteside set Wade a screen at the right wing and rolled to the hoop. Once Wade noticed that Kris Humphries left Whiteside, he rifled a pass inside to the big man. From there, Whiteside gathered himself and slammed it over Garrett Temple despite the foul.
In total, Whiteside had 14 points and four boards to go along with his three blocks against Washington.
-Josh McRoberts was very aggressive once again and tallied nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. He knocked down a couple of open midrange jumpers and also had a few drives to the rim.
-The HEAT will now hit the road for their next two games against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday and Indiana Pacers on Friday.
Game Note: Luol Deng (hamstring) and Amar'e Stoudemire (rehabilitative recovery) sat out. Jarnell Stokes was assigned to the Sioux Falls Skyforce.