Wizards beat Heat 103-100 to divide home series
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Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Spencer Dinwiddie each scored 16 points and scored two 3-pointers during a crucial final 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 divide the home and away series with Miami and pass a half game above the Heat in the Southeast Division standings. Miami, defeated Washington 112-97 in Florida on Thursday night.
The Wizards were 16 in the third quarter and 10 with 4:42 left before Caldwell-Pope and Dinwiddie scored every point in a 15-2 run to give Washington a 99-96 lead with 1. : 43 to play.
“It’s in our DNA,” Caldwell-Pope said. “We’re just fighting.
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Kyle Kuzma made 4 of 6 free throws in the last minute for the Wizards, who also moved closer to half a game for Eastern Conference leaders Brooklyn.
“Everyone is still learning,” said Beal, one of the few returning faces on a roster that has undergone a major overhaul in the offseason. “But it’s amazing how we are able to rack up wins while we are 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 humiliating,” said Butler. “It’s fragile, and as soon as you think you’re good and you’re high on yourself, you’re hit like that.”
Caldwell-Pope started the winning run when he hit a 3 from the top of the arc, absorbed a foul, and converted a four-run game to reduce it to 96-90.
His 3 from the right wing later tied him before Dinwiddie sank one from the same spot to give Washington the advantage and send a sold-out crowd to his feet.
Heat: Missed all seven 3-point attempts in the second quarter and all six in the fourth. … Herro (right wrist) returned after missing Thursday’s home win. … PJ Tucker has 14 points on 5 of 6 shots. He has hit 17 of his last 20 baskets (three games) and 31 of his last 44 (seven games).
Wizards: Held a 26-25 lead after a quarter despite seven turnovers. … C Daniel Gafford (right thumb) returned after missing Thursday’s loss to Miami. … Kuzma had 11 assists.
LOSE PROFILES LATE
For the Heat, losing a lead at the end of the fourth quarter continued a recent trend.
Miami led by nine with less than five minutes to go in settlement of their 120-117 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 10. It nearly gave up a 25-point advantage in the fourth quarter in a 111-105 victory at Utah three days later.
“You can say yes, we’re learning from it, we’re going back to the drawing boards,” Butler said. “I hope this is the last time this happens but I can’t guarantee it.”
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Washington came in third in the NBA in 3-point defense and improved to keep opponents 30.9% beyond the arc after keeping the Heat 7 of 27.
“We want to be a defensive team and basically feed off of it,” Beal said. “We’re very versatile in many ways, but more than anything our first mindset is to stop.”
Heat: In Detroit Monday night.
Wizards: Host Charlotte Monday night.
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