(AP) — Hassan Whiteside bounced back from a rough showing in Dallas and scored 22 points as the Miami Heat held off the Washington Wizards 111-104 in the opener of a back-to-back on Monday night.
Josh Richardson had 21 points and Rodney McGruder scored 16 points for the Heat, who were looking to return to winning ways after a 108-86 loss in Dallas on Sunday. Miami lost its previous two games after an 18-0 start.
The Wizards were off the day after snapping a season-high five-game losing streak with a 113-104 win in Cleveland.
The Heat led by as many as 18 in the second half, but fell behind 92-90 after Bradley Beal (23 points) hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:21 left.
But the Heat, who opened a four-game homestand, scored 10 straight points on Whiteside’s two free throws, a layup by Richardson and points from McGruder and Wayne Ellington.
The Heat gave up an early 9-0 lead before Richardson hit a 3 and a jumper to help Miami take a 19-9 lead, its largest of the first quarter. Beal led Washington with 14 points and Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 13 in the opening frame.
The Wizards, playing without injured starters John Wall and Otto Porter Jr., cut the deficit to two before scoring seven straight points in the final 2:13, the last two coming on free throws by Beal, to take a 33-30 lead into the second quarter.
Despite the chilly start, the Heat had a 66-56 lead at halftime.
Miami led by 15 entering the fourth.
Wizards: Injured G Bradley Beal (foot) will be re-evaluated Wednesday. … Veteran F Michael Beasley (ankle) continues to work his way back and coach Scott Brooks said the first-year Wizard has made strides. “His foot is getting stronger. It is a day-to-day thing,” Brooks said. … F Mike Scott (ankle) is out. … F/C Jeff Green (hip) had 17 points.
Heat: G Goran Dragic (hamstring) is still on target to play in the second half of the Heat’s second game of a back-to-back Thursday at Orlando. He made his sixth appearance of the season, a trip to the win column, against the Wizards.
Miami scored 16 points off nine turnovers to take a 69-53 lead into the fourth quarter. The Heat had 20 points on 18 Wizards turnovers in the first half.
“They made a lot of plays early, driving and kicking, hit some open 3s, got some fast-break points off transition,” Brooks said. “Our possessions were made from our turnovers. We had to change a few things defensively and that got them out of rhythm.”
Heat F Justise Winslow had 15 points and nine rebounds in 24 minutes. He came back for Miami after missing two games with a groin injury. Winslow is averaging 8.3 points and 5.3 rebounds this season.
Brooks on the differences between last season and this one, when the Wizards finished 48-34 and lost to Boston in the Eastern Conference semifinals: “It’s not like we’re supposed to be in the playoffs. We’re not.”
Wizards: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.
Heat: Visit Orlando on Thursday night.