MIAMI (AP)Kyle Lowry took care of the start. Tyler Herro came through for the finish.
And the Miami Heat got a much-needed win.
Lowry scored 24 of his 28 points in the first half, Herro made four 3-pointers down the stretch and the Heat wasted a 21-point second-half lead before beating the Washington Wizards 113-105 on Wednesday night and ending a four-game slide.
”We found a way,” Lowry said. ”They made it close … but we found a way to get the win.”
Caleb Martin scored 24 points and Herro finished with 17 in his first game back following an eight-game absence with a sprained ankle.
Bam Adebayo added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, which trailed briefly in the fourth quarter after building a 17-point halftime lead.
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points for the Wizards. Kristaps Porzingis scored 21, Will Barton had 13 and Deni Avdija finished with 12 for the Wizards, who had won six of seven.
The teams will meet again Friday in Miami.
”We know we beat ourselves in that first half,” Kuzma said. ”We just didn’t come out and match their physicality. … Credit to everybody having resilience and fighting back. But we’ve got to do that longer than just 24 minutes.”
Both teams were shorthanded. Washington played without Bradley Beal (right thigh contusion) and Rui Hachimura (right ankle soreness). Miami was again without Jimmy Butler (right knee soreness), plus were missing shooters Max Strus (right shoulder impingement) and Duncan Robinson (left ankle sprain).
Lowry – the 36-year-old point guard who has logged more minutes than anyone other than Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant this season – more than did his part to take up the slack.
He made his first five 3-pointers, part of the highest-scoring first half of his 17-year NBA career. In his first 1,148 games, including playoffs, Lowry had never had more than 21 in a first half – done twice, most recently in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals on the night that he and the Toronto Raptors clinched their first title.
Lowry didn’t know he set a first-half mark.
”I did not,” Lowry said. ”It should have been more.”
But he left with five fouls with 4:45 left in the third and Miami leading by 10. Barton’s 3-pointer with 8:18 left put Washington up 93-92, and the Heat still trailed by one when Lowry returned with about 7 minutes remaining.
Miami outscored Washington 16-7 the rest of the way, and a pair of 3-pointers from Herro in a span of 31 seconds gave the Heat the cushion they needed.
Wizards: Washington began a stretch where it will play seven of nine and 13 of 17 games on the road. … The Wizards got outrebounded 53-43. … Taj Gibson played his 23rd game at Miami, with a fourth different team. … Kuzma was 13 for 27 from the floor – 11 for 14 on 2s, 2 for 13 on 3s.
Heat: Miami has been outscored by 70 points (198-128) in its last six third quarters. Washington won the third on Wednesday 37-23. … The Heat were down nine in the early moments before outscoring Washington 48-22 over a 16-minute stretch of the first half.
Sandy Alcantra – the unanimous NL Cy Young winner from the Miami Marlins – was among those in attendance. The ace right-hander got a personalized Heat jersey and no shortage of well-wishes from nearby fans. ”First time here. Amazing,” Alcantra said. Among the other fans at the game: Odell Beckham Jr.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra got his 668th career win, breaking a tie with Mike Fratello for 22nd place on the NBA list. He’s four away from No. 21 Mike D’Antoni.
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