Kelly Olynyk’s putback of Dwyane Wade’s missed jumper produced the go-ahead basket with 0.2 seconds left Thursday night, lifting the Miami Heat to a ragged 113-112 comeback victory over the Washington Wizards, who were without new center Dwight Howard for their season opener.
Olynyk was booed every time he touched the ball, on account of a past playoff fracas with the Wizards back when he was with the Boston Celtics. But he certainly got to enjoy the way this game ended, after Miami trailed by as many as nine points.
Josh Richardson led Miami with 28 points, Rodney McGruder added 20, and the Heat hit consecutive 3s late in the fourth quarter.
With Howard sidelined by a sore backside, the Wizards were led by old standby John Wall, who delivered 26 points and nine assists. He and fellow All-Star guard Bradley Beal, who scored 20 points, accounted for Washington’s last eight points.
But with a 112-111 lead, Wall missed a 26-foot pull-up jumper, giving Miami a chance. Wade’s shot with about 3 seconds left was off the mark, but Olynyk grabbed the rebound and his layup won it.
The Heat were playing on the second night of a back-to-back — they lost at Orlando on Wednesday — and Wade appeared in both games, scoring nine each night. He shot a combined 7 for 24.
Wizards coach Scott Brooks put an emphasis on pleading with his players to shoot more 3s this season.
Didn’t work. At least not in Game 1. Washington was only 7 for 26 from beyond the arc.
Wall led the way with 18 points as Washington went into halftime ahead 59-58.
And after Miami briefly went up in the third quarter, the Wizards used a 10-point run midway through the period to enter the fourth with an 89-85 edge. They couldn’t hold on.
Heat: Coach Eric Spoelstra was asked about Wade, 36, appearing in both ends of a back-to-back to open the season. “Right now, it’s Game 2. He wants to play. We want him to play,” Spoelstra said. “And he’s in great shape, he feels good, so he’s able to go.” … G Wayne Ellington (ankle) was active but did not play.
Wizards: Ian Mahnimi started for Howard, but picked up his fourth foul 15 seconds into the third quarter. By quarter’s end, four Wizards — three starters — each had four personal fouls. … F Kelly Oubre Jr. was the first substitute used by Washington, entering for Otto Porter Jr. midway through the first quarter.
WNBA All-Star Kristi Toliver made her regular-season debut as an assistant coach on Scott Brooks’ staff. “I love her. Our staff loves her. Our players feel the same way,” Brooks said. “She adds value to our program. She’s very talented. She loves the game. She’s passionate. And she wants to learn. She has this incredible desire to get better.”
This was the first game Howard missed for a health reason since the 2016-17 season. He appeared in 81 of 82 games last season with Charlotte, missing one because of a suspension. “He’s getting close,” Brooks said. “We just don’t feel like he’s quite there yet. Like I said a few weeks ago, we’re in no rush. We just want to make sure that he’s comfortable — we’re comfortable — going forward.”
Heat: Host Charlotte on Saturday in their home opener.
Wizards: Host Toronto on Saturday in a rematch from last season’s playoffs. The Raptors eliminated the Wizards in the first round.
Source: The Associated Press