Whiteside, Heat lead by 25, hold on to beat Wizards

WASHINGTON — The Miami Heat nearly wasted a terrific defensive effort against John Wall and the high-scoring Washington Wizards, allowing a 25-point lead to dwindle all the way down to one before holding on for a 91-88 victory Friday night.

Hassan Whiteside had 22 points and 16 rebounds for the Heat, who limited the Wizards to 29 first-half points — Washington’s lowest output for a half in more than 2 1/2 years. Wall wound up with only eight points on 3-for-12 shooting. The All-Star point guard’s first points of the night came with about 5 1/2 minutes left, on a 3-pointer that got Washington to 75-71.

Overall, the Wizards made 38.1 per cent of their field-goal attempts. Still, the hosts got within 89-88 on a pair of free throws by Otto Porter Jr. James Johnson, who finished with 20 points, made one free throw with 6.5 seconds left. That left Washington with the ball down by two, but Bradley Beal missed a 17-foot pull-up jumper and Miami rebounded, then tacked on a free throw.

Beal led Washington with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

The Wizards came in on a four-game winning streak, including a 102-93 victory their last time out, at Miami on Wednesday.

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Washington entered Friday averaging 110.7 points, fourth-best in the 30-team NBA, but this one was different right from the get-go.

The Heat led 26-17 after the first quarter, when Washington made only 6 of 20 field-goal attempts, including 0 for 6 on 3-point tries. The high-gear, go-go attack steered by Wall was outscored 9-0 by Miami on fast breaks in that period.

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Source:: Sportsnet.ca – Sport

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