Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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NBA Preview: Miami Heat (25-23) at Washington Wizards (9-38)

The Miami Heat aim to take another step forward after snapping their longest losing skid in nearly 16 years when they visit the reeling Washington Wizards on Friday night.

The Heat halted a seven-game slide with their first win since Jan. 15, courtesy of a 115-106 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Butler scored 31 points and Josh Richardson made six 3-pointers to highlight his season-high 24-point performance off the bench for the Heat.

Bam Adebayo collected 16 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday, and Tyler Herro added 14 and eight, respectively, to go along with eight assists.

Herro nearly recorded a triple-double in Miami’s previous encounter with Washington this season. He had 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists and Butler added 20 points and seven boards in the Heat’s 121-114 home victory on Nov. 3.

Richardson saw extended playing time on Wednesday in the absence of Duncan Robinson, who is in NBA concussion protocol. Robinson hit his head against the court in Miami’s 125-109 loss to the New York Knicks on Saturday and played in a limited fashion in the Heat’s 118-105 setback to the Phoenix Suns on Monday.

Robinson and Adebayo each scored 18 points in the first meeting with the Wizards.

Terry Rozier struggled with his shooting on Wednesday while playing in his fifth game since being acquired from the Charlotte Hornets. He made just 1 of 8 shots and finished with three points. He did have 10 assists, however.

Washington’s Kyle Kuzma scored 23 of his 27 points in the first half on Wednesday in a 125-109 setback to the Los Angeles Clippers. He scored a team-high 22 points in the first encounter with the Heat.

Kuzma and the Wizards, however, were done in by a disastrous third quarter on Wednesday in which the team was outscored by a 40-19 margin. That went a long way to the end result for Washington, which fell to 2-2 under interim coach Brian Keefe.

Rookie Bilal Coulibaly scored 19 points while making the start in place of late scratch Jordan Poole, who sat out due to a non-COVID illness. Poole scored 19 points in the first encounter with Miami

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