WASHINGTON (AP) — Daniel Gafford had 22 points and eight rebounds, and the Washington Wizards beat the Miami Heat 114-108 on Friday night in a meeting of short-handed teams.
Corey Kispert scored 19 points for Washington, and Jordan Goodwin added 16 points. The Wizards have been without three-time All-Star Bradley Beal for the last nine games because of a sore left knee.
Washington (35-46) stopped a four-game losing streak.
“It’s good to see them celebrate each other even when it’s not going well,” Wizards coach Wes Unseld Jr. said. “To offer words of encouragement. To try to breathe life or confidence in certain guys. It goes a long way.”
Victor Oladipo scored 20 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter and hit seven 3-pointers for Miami, which rested six-time All-Star Jimmy Butler and two other starters from Thursday’s 129-101 win at Philadelphia.
Cody Zeller added 17 points as the Heat (43-38) prepare for an NBA play-in tournament appearance.
“This is our reality, and you have to embrace that,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “This is a totally new experience for all of us. It’s not exactly where we wanted to be heading into this season, going back to training camp. But that is totally irrelevant. We have this in front of us and it’s competition. It’s great competition with a lot at stake.”
No. 7 Miami will play host to No. 8 Atlanta on Tuesday night, while No. 9 Toronto will get a visit from No. 10 Chicago on Wednesday night in the first two games of the East play-in.
“Maybe this is the path for this group, that’s the way I look at it,” said Spoelstra, whose team finished first in the East a season ago before losing in the conference finals. “We’re a dangerous team. We’re getting a confidence about how we’re playing.”
The Wizards broke a 55-all tie and took control in the third quarter with a 29-6 run.
Delon Wright hit a floater off the glass and then converted a three-point play from a driving layup to stretch Washington’s lead to 10. Kispert followed with two 3-pointers before Goodwin’s putback stretched it to a 20-point advantage, and Jay Huff’s free throws made it 84-61.
Miami cut the lead to single digits late, pulling as close as six when Oladipo’s last 3 made it 111-105 with 31.4 seconds left.
Heat: Were assessed two delay of game warnings in the span of 45 seconds in the fourth quarter. … In addition to Butler (right hand bruise), C Bam Adebayo (left quad strain), G Tyler Herro (right quad bruise), G Kyle Lowery (sore left knee) and F/C Kevin Love (rib bruise) also rested after playing Thursday. … C Omer Yurtseven picking up his fourth personal foul by the 5:14 mark of the second quarter before returning with 7:14 left in the fourth.
Wizards: In addition to Beal, C Kristaps Porzingis (illness) missed his fifth straight game and F Kyle Kuzma (right ankle sprain) missed his 10th.
The play-in meeting with the Hawks represents a rematch of last year’s first-round playoff series, which Miami won in five games. The Heat also won three of four meetings during the 2022-2023 regular season.
“This will be a different format, so let’s go for it. Let’s do it,” Spoelstra said.
Heat: Home against Orlando on Sunday
Wizards: Home against Houston on Sunday
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