MIAMI — Takeaways from the Heat’s 113-105 win against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night at FTX Arena:
— The Heat frittered away all of a 17-point lead - thanks to another third quarter debacle - but managed to survive, snapping a four-game losing streak to move to 8-11.
The third quarter served up yet another Heat disaster - the fifth game in a row that Miami unraveled after intermission.
Down 60-43 at the break, the Wizards seized on Heat defensive breakdowns for three dunks early in the quarter, then found holes in Miami’s zone and kept whittling away at the Heat’s lead, closing to within 83-80 after three, thanks to big third quarters from Kristaps Porzingis (13 points in the period) and Will Barton (six).
By the time the quarter was over, the Wizards had outscored the Heat 37-23.
This was hardly anything new for Miami; the Heat has been outscored by an average of 13 points in the past five games.
With Kyle Kuzma scoring 16 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter, the Wizards then went ahead 93-92 - its first lead since the second quarter.
The lead flipped back and forth for a time before Heat went ahead for good, thanks to two big threes from Tyler Herro and contributions from others, including stout defense from Bam Adebayo (who won a jump ball with 1:09 left) and two baskets from Caleb Martin.
Miami’s zone defense was effective late, but Washington also missed several open shots down the stretch.
— Herro’s return featured pain, frustration and some rust, but also four big fourth-quarter shots that were the difference in the game.