Reserves Come Up Big In Miami Heat's 134-129 Victory Against The Wizards
At one point, the Miami Heat appeared on the way to another easy victory.
They led by 21 against the Washington Wizards Wednesday night before a slow start in the second half allowed that to evaporate. It was then when coach Erik Spoelstra decided to take action.
He replaced all five starters and the reserves provided a spark that helped the Heat to a 134-129 victory in double overtime. They moved to 31-13 and a league-best 20-1 at home.
"It's a tough thing in this league when the momentum shifts and you try to get it back," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "Sometimes, it can be elusive but the second unit played some good basketball."
With the double-digit lead trimmed to three after the Wizards started the second half with a 17-3 run, Spoelstra replaced Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kendrick Nunn, Duncan Robinson and Meyers Leonard with Goran Dragic, Tyler Herro, Derrick Jones Jr., James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk. The backups eventually pushed the lead back to 10.
"That was something that we deserved," Adebayo said. "We came out flat in the second half. We needed that to wake us up ... I'm a leader in that lineup and I didn't take control. I'm glad [Spoelstra] did it. It shows that he doesn't care how much you get paid or who you are, if you're not doing your job, you've got to get off the court."
The Heat held off another late charge by the Wizards, winning their second straight game in overtime. Herro led Miami with 25 points, including a team rookie record seven 3-pointers. Butler finished with 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds while Dragic had 22 points and 10 assists.
"If it weren't for our reserves, I don't think we win this game," Butler said. "They came in and they saved us."