Heat look to bounce back, face woeful Wizards
Tune into Sun Sports at 6:30 p.m. to watch the Miami Heat take on the Washington Wizards. NBA Heat territory.
The Miami Heat didn’t get off to a great start on their longest road trip of the season.
A lesser opponent could help the Heat get back on track Friday when they visit the Washington Wizards.
While Miami has won 11 of 14, it had its three-game winning streak snapped with a 102-89 loss at Orlando on Wednesday in the opener of a six-game road trip. The trek includes Miami’s only back-to-back-to-back of the season, Sunday through Tuesday at Atlanta, Milwaukee and Indiana.
The Heat allowed Orlando to make 17 3-pointers and got outscored 23-9 in second-chance points. Dwyane Wade led Miami with 33 points, but only 11 of those came after halftime.
“They set the tone this game, right from the get-go,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We were able to get into a little bit more of an aggressiveness and attack. A little bit more of a disposition in the second quarter, but they were able to sustain it longer and more consistently than we were able to.”
After starting 5-0 on the road, the Heat (19-7) have lost five of their last seven away from Miami.
Thankfully for Miami, a trip to the nation’s capital awaits. The Heat have more total wins (66) and road wins (30) against the Wizards in their history than any other opponent. This is the first meeting of the season between these teams, but Miami has won five in a row in the series and 11 of the last 12 games against Washington since the start of the 2008-09 season.
The Heat have also won six in a row in Washington, where they are 30-17 all-time.
Washington has been brutal this season no matter where the game has been played – only New Orleans and Charlotte have worse records than the Wizards’ 5-21 mark.
The Wizards have lost five of six and were denied another chance for their first consecutive wins of the season Wednesday when they lost 107-93 at home to New York.
It got so bad that the Wizards’ own fans were chanting the name of the Knicks’ Jeremy Lin at the end of the game – an ignominious mark for the team, which fell to 4-11 at the Verizon Center.
Lin, who played against Washington coach Randy Wittman’s son Ryan in college, outdueled the Wizards’ John Wall, who scored 29 points to lead Washington.
“My son Ryan told me that they did a much better job guarding him than we did tonight,” Wittman said of Lin. “I already had that text message before the game was over. Makes Dad feel good.”
The Wizards are 3-6 since Wittman took over for Flip Saunders on Jan. 24.
Washington forward Rashard Lewis has missed the last two games with a sore left knee and is questionable for Friday. If he does play, Lewis needs four points to reach the 15,000 point plateau for his career. He would join Paul Pierce and Jason Kidd as the only players in NBA history with 15,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 1,500 3-pointers.
Washington begins a five-game road trip Sunday when it visits Detroit.