Hassan Whiteside posted 29 points, 20 rebounds and nine blocks to lead the host Miami Heat to a 95-88 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night.
Whiteside, who missed Miami’s previous game due to a knee injury, made 10-of-18 shots from the floor and fell one block short of what would’ve been the fifth triple-double of his career.
The Heat, which took the lead in the opening minutes of the game and never relinquished it, played without starting point guard Goran Dragic (right-knee injury) and reserve guard Dwyane Wade (personal reasons).
Heat guard Wayne Ellington, who had only played 12 minutes this season prior to this game, made his first start of the season and provided 20 points. He shot 6-of-10 on three-pointers as Miami stopped a nine-game losing streak against San Antonio, beating the Spurs for the first time since January of 2014.
San Antonio was led by backup point guard Patty Mills, who had 20 points, and reserve forward Davis Bertans, who added a season-high 19 points.
Spurs leading scorer DeMar DeRozan, who entered the game in the top 10 in the league in scoring (27.3), was held to 18 points. However, DeRozan contributed on the boards with a career-high 14 rebounds.
San Antonio’s other All-Star, LaMarcus Aldridge, was held to six points on 2-for-14 shooting.
The Spurs were without two key players out with injuries: Pau Gasol (foot) and forward Rudy Gay (heel).
After Miami went on a 13-0 run in the first quarter, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich removed all five of his starters at once. The Spurs, who trailed by as many as 14 points in that first quarter due to 29.2-percent shooting, closed well, however, and trailed 27-20 heading into the second.
Miami extended its lead slightly to 50-42 at halftime, thanks to Whiteside. He finished the half with 18 points, 14 rebounds and eight blocks. His eight blocks set a record for most rejections in any half of basketball in Heat history.
The Heat in the third quarter once again slightly expanded their lead to 75-64.
San Antonio made things close with a 17-4 run in the fourth quarter, but Miami held on to the victory after having its lead cut to 93-88 in the final minute.
—Field Level Media