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Beal scores 38 in 134-129 overtime loss to Heat
Despite 38 points from Bradley Beal and a 24-point performance from Davis Bertans, the Wizards (14-29) lost 134-129 to the Heat (31-13) in overtime on Wednesday night in Miami. The Wizards trailed by as many as 21 in the second quarter but rallied back in the second half. Washington has now lost five consecutive road games while Miami improves to 20-1 at home this season.
“We played our hearts out,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said postgame. “I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win. We would’ve had a chance to win the game if a couple of things would’ve gone differently. Our guys played hard and competed. We just have to continue to play that way and gain the respect we need as the season goes on.”
Beal did his part to lead the comeback, scoring 25 of his 38 points in the second half and overtime and adding nine rebounds and five assists in the loss. Beal has now scored 35-plus points nine times this season, trailing only Trae Young among Eastern Conference players.
The Wizards’ offense struggled early on, missing the first seven field goal attempts of the first quarter as the Heat jumped out to a six-point advantage. Beal put an end to the scoring drought just over three minutes into the game when he scored on consecutive possessions, including a step-back jumper on the baseline that left Heat center Meyers Leonard stumbling and sent the Wizards’ bench into hysterics. Aside from Beal, though, the Wizards’ starters were unable to generate much offense and went on to combine for just five points on 2-12 (.166) shooting in the first half.
Bertans checked into the game midway through the first quarter and jolted the Wizards’ offense back to life. After the Wizards’ deficit hit 10, Bertans scored his first buckets of the night on a pair of physical layups. Miami’s Kendrick Nunn scored on three straight possessions to maintain the Heat’s double-digit lead, but that lead finally cracked when Bertans and Jordan McRae hit back-to-back threes to cut Miami’s advantage to two. Bertans hit another three as time expired in the first quarter to finish the opening frame with 10 points on 4-5 (.800) shooting in six minutes of action.
Washington went cold in the second quarter, shooting 8-24 (.333) from the field and 1-10 (.100) from 3-point range, while the Heat couldn’t miss. Miami, led by 10 points on 4-4 (1.000) shooting Kelly Olynyk, outscored the Wizards by 16 in the second quarter alone and took a 19-point lead into halftime.
The Wizards thrust themselves back into the game with a 26-6 run to start the third quarter, capped off by a three by Isaiah Thomas, a block by Ian Mahinmi and buckets from Beal on consecutive possessions to take a one-point lead, 76-75. The Wizards opened the second half hitting 10 of their first 11 shots, but Miami quickly countered with a 12-2 run of their own and led by seven heading into the fourth quarter.
Beal owned the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points on 4-4 (1.000) from the field to go along with three rebounds and an assist. With Miami up six with just over three minutes left, Bertans hit his fourth 3-pointer of the night before Beal scored on three consecutive possessions to give Washington a three-point lead. With 35.5 seconds remaining, James Johnson hit a corner three to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Miami jumped out to an early five-point lead on a 3-pointer from Tyler Herro – his seventh of the night – in the first minute of overtime. Beal and Butler traded baskets three straight possessions, but Washington was never able to overcome Miami’s lead. Beal managed a decent look to tie the game with 10 seconds remaining, but couldn’t get it to fall.
The Wizards are back in action Thursday night in Cleveland, taking on the Cavaliers (12-32) at 7:00 P.M. The Wizards have played three road back-to-backs this season, splitting two and going 0-2 in one – a back-to-back against Toronto and Philadelphia in late December.