The Miami Heat just came off a six-game road trip and will make a brief stop at home on Wednesday to host the Washington Wizards. The Heat, who are 3-3 in their own arena, head back on the road for the second leg of the home-and-home series between Southeast Division rivals on Friday.
Miami had a chance to pull off a winning road trip but dropped a 112-103 decision at Detroit on Sunday to settle for a 3-3 excursion. “We grew, certainly,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters of the road trip. “When we went out on this road trip 13 days ago, I think we’re a better ball club now. Ultimately, that’s what you want. Of course, right now we feel like we could have finished the road trip a little bit better. We’ll be able to maintain the proper perspective on this as long as we’re continuing to get better.” The Wizards are continuing to get better as well and picked up their third straight win with a 110-92 win over the Sacramento Kings on Monday. Washington will play 11 of its next 14 games on the road.
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCS Washington, FS Sun (Miami)
ABOUT THE WIZARDS (8-5): Washington is gearing up for its long stretch of road games by incorporating the whole roster, and the bench is beginning to play with confidence on both ends of the floor. “We have just been communicating,” forward Mike Scott told the team’s website of the bench’s success in the last two games. “I’ve been telling Tim (Frazier) as our defense gets stretched off the bench, just keep talking to us, keep us motivated. It’s been working. A team will go on a little run but we will just go right back at them. It’s been working.” Scott scored 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in Monday’s win while knocking down a season-high three 3-pointers.
ABOUT THE HEAT (6-7): Center Hassan Whiteside is trying to find some consistency at both ends of the floor and finished the road trip with three straight solid outings. The 28-year-old was benched for most of the second half during a 97-80 loss at Golden State in which he managed three points on 1-of-9 shooting but quickly bounced back with a double-double in two of the last three games, including 20 points and 12 rebounds in Sunday’s loss. The non double-double of the bunch came on Friday at Utah, when he grabbed 20 rebounds, blocked three shots and grabbed three steals but was held to eight points in an 84-74 triumph.
1. Heat PG Goran Dragic is 17-of-17 from the free-throw line in the last three games.
2. Washington SF Otto Porter Jr. shot 54.5 percent or better from the floor in each of his last nine games.
3. Miami took all four meetings last season and five straight in the series.
PREDICTION: Wizards 109, Heat 102