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Miami Heat Use Hot Start to Roll Past Washington Wizards



Washington’s Bradley Beal thought he had an open path to a layup in the opening minutes, unaware that Miami’s Bam Adebayo was going to swat his shot out of bounds with ease.

Beal’s night didn’t get any better.

And the Heat looked like themselves again.


Beal — the NBA’s scoring leader, averaging 34.8 points entering Friday — missed his first 13 shot attempts, reserve Kendrick Nunn had 25 points and Miami rolled to a 122-95 win over the Wizards.

“Every human being is due for a bad day,” Beal said.

Adebayo scored 21 for Miami, which got 17 points from Kelly Olynyk, 17 more from Tyler Herro and a 14-point, nine-assist, eight-rebound night from Jimmy Butler.

“We were competing on both ends. … It’s great to see us try to get back to that form we had last year,” Adebayo said. “Good to get a win.”

Beal scored only seven points on 1-for-14 shooting for Washington, the first time this season he has been held below 25. Alex Len scored 18, Russell Westbrook scored 13 and Rui Hachimura added 12 for the Wizards, who won in Miami on Wednesday by holding the Heat to 35 second-half points — then gave up 40 in the first quarter on Friday.

Miami (8-14) led by as many as 37, the biggest Heat lead of the season — and biggest Washington deficit of the season.

“We didn’t come out with the right frame of mind to compete against a team that’s fighting for their lives as well,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.

Plenty changed for the Heat. They had a morning shootaround, a break from the norm. They changed the starting lineup, inserting Goran Dragic for Herro. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra even challenged a foul call, something he hardly ever does, and was successful.

“We’re seeing improvement,” Spoelstra said. “We just need time. Our core guys have not been on the court together a lot this season, and you’re trying to build habits and play the right way.”

And Beal simply couldn’t buy a basket.

He was 0 for 6 in each of the first two quarters, and then missed his first shot of the third before getting a 3-pointer to fall with 9:46 left in the period.

That was his last shot of the night. Washington lifted all five of its starters with 4:14 left in the third, down 93-61.

“They double- and triple-teamed a lot. … They did a good job,” Beal said. “Very good job.”


Wizards: Beal’s scoring average fell to 33.3. … Washington’s 5-14 start matches the seventh-worst in franchise history. … The Wizards are 2-0 with Westbrook in the lineup against Brooklyn this season, and 0-11 when he’s in the lineup against any other team.

Heat: Dragic left in the third quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative. … Adebayo was 11 for 11 from the foul line in the first quarter. The last time a Heat player made more in any quarter was 2007, when Dwyane Wade made 14 in the fourth against Cleveland.


Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling and Ashley Moyer-Gleich were two of the officials, joined by crew chief Brian Forte. It was the second time in NBA history that two women worked a game; Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder were on a crew in Orlando together last month.


Adebayo always signs off interviews by saying “Black Lives Matter” and added a new twist Friday. “Everybody tell Trayvon Martin happy birthday,” Adebayo said. Martin would have turned 26 on Friday. He was 17 when he was shot dead while walking to his father’s home in Central Florida in 2012. The Black teen was unarmed when he was shot by George Zimmerman, whose acquittal under Florida’s self-defense law in July 2013 sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.


Wizards: Visit Charlotte on Sunday.

Heat: Visit New York on Sunday.

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