Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Some times there are those games.. and some times there are those games like tonight where enough wasn’t enough soon enough. Another steller performance by Bradley Beal with 38 points is outshined by the overtime performance by Jimmy Butler and the Heat in disappointing 134-129 loss.
The Miami Heat dismantled the Washington Wizards for the first 24 minutes, leading by as much as 21, and then the second half arrived and it was if the Wizards had woken up again as they have in many games this season in the second half and dropped the lead to single digits by late in the fourth quarter.
While Scott Brooks stayed with many of the same players in the fourth quarter, Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra took all of his starters out favoring a younger upbeat team that the Wizards took advantage of forcing the overtime.
“We played our hearts out,” Coach Scott Brooks said.
The key difference in the overtime was Jimmy Butler. He finished the game 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Rookie Tyler Herro hit 7 of 9 three-pointers, including a corner three in overtime, and finished with a team-best 25 points. Goran Dragic provided another 22 points and 10 assists off the bench for Miami (31-13).
Washington Heads to Cleveland later tonight and hopes to rebound with a victory over the Kevin Love lead Cavs.
In other Wizards news, John Wall played a behind closed doors game of 5 on 5 today in Miami with former NBA Players Amar’e Stoudimire, Michael Beasley and Jeremy Tyler. While this is just one more step in a possible return later this season for Wall, still no timetable has been set for him to return this season.
Rui Hachimura has also been cleared to practice with the team and could return on this road trip or possibly return at home on January 30th as the Wizards return home after one more game against Milwaukee on Jan 28th.