And the Miami Heat got a much-needed win.
Lowery scored 24 of his 28 points in the first half, Hero hit four three-pointers along the half, and the Heat squandered a 21-point lead in the second half before edging the Washington Wizards 113-105 Wednesday night and ending with a four-game lead. slip.
“We found a way,” Lowry said. “They made it close…but we found a way to win.”
Caleb Martin scored 24 points and Hero finished with 17 points in his first game after missing eight games with a sprained ankle.
Bam Adebayo added 15 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, who trailed briefly in the fourth quarter after leading 17 points in the first half.
Kyle Kuzma scored 33 points for the Wizards. Kristaps Porcingis scored 21, Will Barton scored 13 and Denny Avdija finished with 12 for the Wizards, who won six out of seven.
The two teams will meet again Friday in Miami.
“We know we beat ourselves in that first half,” Kuzma said. “We just didn’t go out and match their physicality. … Credit to everyone being flexible and resisting. But we’d have to do it for longer than just 24 minutes.”
Both teams were shorthanded. Washington played without Bradley Bell (right thigh contusion) and Rui Hachimura (right ankle soreness). Miami was once again without Jimmy Butler (right knee soreness), as well as the loss of pitchers Max Stross (right shoulder impingement) and Duncan Robinson (left ankle sprain).
Lowery—the 36-year-old guard who has logged more minutes than anyone other than Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant this season—has more of a role to pick up the slack.
He made the first five three-pointers, part of the highest-scoring first half of his 17-year NBA career. In his first 1,148 games, including the playoffs, Lowry has never had more than 21 starts in the first half — made twice, most recently in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals the night he and the Toronto Raptors clinched their first title.
Little did Lowry know he had flagged in the first half.
“I didn’t. It should have been more,” Lowry said.
But he left with five fouls with 4:45 left in the third and Miami ahead by 10. Barton’s three-pointer with 8:18 left put Washington ahead 93-92, and the Heat still trailed by one when Lowry came back with about 7 minutes remaining.
Miami outscored Washington 16-7 the rest of the way, and Hero’s three-pointer in a 31-second period gave the Heat the protection they needed.
Wizards: Washington has started a stretch where it will play seven of its nine and 13 of its 17 games on the road. … The Wizards got out of the invasion 53-43. … Taj Gibson played his 23rd game in Miami with a different fourth team. … Kuzma was 13-for-27 from the floor – 11-for-14 for 2s, and 2-for-13 for 3s.
Heat: Miami is out by 70 points (198-128) in its last six quarters. Washington won No. 3 on Wednesday 37-23. … The Heat were down from nine in the first moments before outscoring Washington by a score of 48-22 over 16 minutes of the first half.
Sandy Alcantra — the unanimous winner of the NLC Young Miami Marlins — was among those in attendance. The right-hander got a custom Heat jersey and there was no shortage of good wishes from the nearby fans. “First time here. Alcantara said. Other fans at the game include: Odell Beckham Jr.
Heat head coach Eric Spoelstra earned his 668th career win, breaking a tie with Mike Fratello for 22nd on the NBA list. He’s four away from No. 21 Mike D’Antoni.