Wizards beat Heat 103-100 to split home-and-home series
WASHINGTON (AP) — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 16 points and hit two 3-pointers during a crucial late stretch and the Wizards rallied for a 103-100 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night.
Bradley Beal had 21 points to help Washington split the home-and-home series with Miami and move a half-game above the Heat in the Southeast Division standings. Miami, beat Washington 112-97 in Florida on Thursday night.
The Wizards trailed by as 16 in the third quarter and by 10 with 4:42 to play before Caldwell-Pope and Dinwiddie scored every point during a 15-2 run to give Washington a 99-96 lead with 1:43 left.
“That’s in our DNA,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We just fight.
Kyle Kuzma hit 4 of 6 free throws in the final minute for the Wizards, who also pulled within a half-game of Eastern Conference-leading Brooklyn.
“Everybody’s still learning,” said Beal, one of the few returning faces on a roster that went a major offseason overhaul. “But it’s amazing to see we’re able to put some wins together while we’re still learning.”
Jimmy Butler scored 29 points for the Heat, and Tyler Herro added 20. Miami had won four in a row.
“This league is very humbling,” Butler said. “It’s fragile, and just as soon as you think you’re good and you’re high on yourself, you get hit like this.”
Caldwell-Pope started the winning run when he hit a 3 from the top of the arc, absorbed a foul and converted a four-point play to cut it to 96-90.
Later, his 3 from the right wing tied it before Dinwiddie sank one from the same spot to give Washington the lead and send a sell-out crowd to its feet.
Heat: Missed all seven of their 3-point attempts in the second quarter, and all six in the fourth. … Herro (right wrist) returned after missing Thursday’s home win. … P.J. Tucker scored 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting. He’s hit 17 of his last 20 field goals (three games) and 31 of his last 44 (seven games).
Wizards: Held a 26-25 lead after one quarter despite committing seven turnovers. … C Daniel Gafford (right thumb) returned after missing Thursday’s loss in Miami. … Kuzma had 11 assists.
LOSING LATE LEADS
For the Heat, losing a late fourth-quarter lead continued a recent pattern.
Miami led by nine with less than five minutes remaining in regulation of their 120-117 overtime loss at the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 10. It nearly gave back a 25-point, fourth-quarter advantage in a 111-105 win at Utah three days later.
“You can say yeah, we learn from it, we go back to the drawing boards,” Butler said. “I’m hoping this is the last time that this happens but I can’t guarantee that.”
FEW FREE 3s
Washington entered third in the NBA in 3-point defense and improved to holding opponents to 30.9% from beyond the arc after keeping the Heat went 7 of 27 there.
“We want to be a defensive team and basically feed off of that,” Beal said. “We’re very versatile in a lot of ways, but more than anything our first mindset is getting stops.”
Heat: At Detroit on Monday night.
Wizards: Host Charlotte on Monday night.