After making 15 of their 16 shot attempts in the second quarter, Washington gained a 30 point advantage over the Heat and it was all but over from that point on. Miami kept it close for the first few minutes of the game, but once Washington started draining three point shots left and right, it looked like they would coast to victory.
Washington made nearly half of their three point attempts tonight. Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal combined for 8-13 from three, while Al Harrington chipped in with 4 of his own shots from deep. Ariza scored 25 points in just over 30 minutes of playing time, while Beal scored 15 on just 9 shot attempts. Al Harrington scored 16 off the bench, most of his points coming from three, while Nene added 18 points in just 24 minutes. It’s hard to believe that Washington’s bench struggled to keep leads earlier this season, but the addition of Andre Miller has completely changed the outlook. Miller dished out 9 assists, including a full court outlet pass to Bradley Beal that had Beal contemplating whether or not he should try out for the Washington Redskins next season. Andre Miller’s outlet pass is seriously ridiculous.
Like Miller, John Wall did not contribute much in the scoring department, but he did have 13 assists in just 24 minutes of playing time. He’s becoming more and more passive on drives to the basket, which is concerning, but I like how he’s making an effort to get his teammates involved out on the perimeter. Ariza and Beal definitely benefited from his passing tonight.
Marcin Gortat put up another double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Miami lacks size and they have had trouble guarding Nene and Gortat all season long. Washington did a good job at getting Gortat involved early on, which created shot opportunities for the perimeter players.
Since the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Atlanta Hawks tonight, the Wizards will have to secure the 6th seed with a win on Wednesday night at the Boston Celtics. It should be a good one.