The speed of Kendrick Nunn and the wrist of Duncan Robinson made the difference in this early meeting (8-0). Washington, carried by Ian Mahinmi, tries to react but without the talent of Bradley Beal, in the infirmary, it is complicated. The Heat unrolls and delights the many Floridian fans who came to see Jimmy Butler’s teammates in action. Shots on transition game, shots after dribbling, shots after game reversal … Miami offers offensive sequences that are simply perfect. Each player is used wisely and the Wizards can only see the damage.
Duncan Robinson, Goran Dragic and Meyers Leonard light up 3-point, while Bam Adebayo wins in the racket. The evening could be very long for the Wizards. Except that Ian Mahinmi resists. The Frenchman seems to have left to make an incredible match and he is the only Wizard to stand up to the opposing steamroller. He’s already 14 points, as the Heat ends the quarter ten points ahead (39-29).
Ian Mahinmi brilliant
But strangely, Miami will drop in intensity in the second quarter, being much less present in defense. The determination of Bam Adebayo, in the oven and the mill, does not reassure Erik Spoelstra who seems worried at the last minutes offered by his players. Washington plays with its heart and Jordan McRae shows very beautiful things in attack (49-46).
It’s not the same meeting at all. Pushed by their audience, the Wizards play without complex. McRae and Garrison Mathews are on a different planet, and Miami cannot cope with the speed of the former and the skill of the latter. The Heat lost control of the game and their basketball (57-53). So serious this season, Butler’s teammates are overwhelmed everywhere, and they no longer have the solutions against Mathews’ wrist or the power of Mahinmi. The Heat conceded 42 points in the quarter (71-63).
Washington controls the situation after returning from the locker room. Isaiah Thomas scores five points in a row and allows his team to cross the 10-point mark. There is fire in the Floridians but no one in Miami seems to be able to lead the rebellion. The credit goes to the DC players who fight on all the balls as if their lives depended on it. Without Wall of course, or Beal, this team is showing great solidarity this evening, and the gap has reached worrying proportions for the Heat (87-69).
The Heat wakes up … too late
But beware, everything can go quickly in basketball … Logically, Washington is dropping in temperature. The Heat is not second in the East for nothing and boss Jimmy Butler leads the way. Collectively, Miami shows more things in the last moments of this third quarter than in the last twenty minutes. Derrick Jones Jr imposes his physique while Tyler Herro lights 3-point wicks and they sign a 12-0 (87-81). It’s Ish Smith who stops the bleeding before attacking the money time (90-81).
Tyler Herro’s heat stroke seems distant … The Wizards resume their march forward to create the feat of the evening. Mathews and McRae continue to bring a real 3-point threat which allows Troy Brown Jr or Smith to get their way into the circle (108-93).
Cornered, Miami gives up, and Ian Mahinmi punctuates his career record with a new 3-point! He is acclaimed after his great performance, and like the French, some Wizards will long remember this last game of 2019!