When the Washington Wizards built a team around John Wall they knew they needed a few ingredients that would build a contender. Again, tonight as they have for the past two weeks, the Wizards have found a way to close the game in the fourth quarter and defeat some of the good teams in the NBA.
The difference in this game was one stolen pass by Bradley Beal in the final seconds from Dwyane Wade closing the door on another all around performance by the Wizards in a close game.
“Guys played a good game, man. Can’t ask for a better game,” Wade said. “My teammates came out and played an amazing game. So this one hurts, man. I’ll take this one and put it on my shoulders. I’ve got to do better for my guys. This was a game everyone wanted to win and we had a chance.”
Washington was led by another strong performance by John Wall, who recorded 20 points and 10 assists, but it was NENE is his roll of the bench with 20 points that made huge difference in the game tonight.
The X-Factor on this team and especially tonight has been Paul Pierce. No longer the guy who needs to score 20+ points a night, Pierce knows his role is to help Wall and Beal push the ball up the court and find open guys and take it to the hoop whenever he is in the paint.
Pierce scored on a tip-in to break a 95-95 tie, and after Miami’s Mario Chalmers was called for an illegal screen. On the very next Miami possession, Wall hit a jumper with 1:01 left to give the Wizards a four-point lead.
Wade hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to get Miami within one, but the Heat never got the lead back. Miami led for the first 20 minutes of the second half, trailed for just 1:54 after halftime, and lost again.
With the victory tonight the Wizards improved to 19-6 on the season and have the second best record in the Eastern Conference behind Toronto.
Next up for the Wizards is Phoenix at home on Sunday. Game time is 6pm