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And now a winning streak: Heat make it two in a row with 110-102 victory in Washington

WASHINGTON – And now . . . a winning streak.

A game after snapping a seven-game losing streak, the Miami Heat remained on the right side of the ledger Friday night, this time with a 110-102 victory over the lottery-bound Washington Wizards at Capital One Arena.

Granted, this wasn’t quite the challenge of Wednesday night’s slump-busting victory over the Sacramento Kings, but this also was a game the Heat could not afford to kick away, which actually appeared possible, after falling behind by 11 early.

With a rugged closing stretch to the All-Star break, a six-game schedule that includes matchups against the Los Angeles Clippers, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers, this was a night with little margin for errors.

So the Heat cleaned up their game in the second half, taking control in the third quarter.

Jimmy Butler led the Heat with 24 points, supported by double-doubles from Bam Adebayo (20 points, 13 rebounds) and Kevin Love (13 points, 10 rebounds). The Heat also got 15 points apiece from Tyler Herro and Terry Rozier..

With the victory, the Heat improved to 26-23, while the Wizards fell to 9-39.

Five Degrees of Heat from Friday night’s game:

1. Closing time: The Wizards led 33-31 after the first quarter and 59-56 at halftime, after pushing their lead to 11.

The Heat then ended the third period on a 22-6 run to take an 87-74 lead into the fourth.

Butler went to the bench earlier than usual, sitting with 1:25 left in the third period. He returned with 6:42 to play and the Heat up 95-84.

From there, the Heat went ahead by 16, before the Wizards closed within 106-101 with 52.7 seconds to play on a Jordan Poole 3-pointer. Poole then drained a free throw with 31.1 seconds to play to make it 106-102.

Rozier then went to the line with 24.4 seconds to play, making both free throws for a 108-102 lead.

2. Butler early: Butler for the second consecutive game took an aggressive early stance, with 10 of the Heat’s first 23 points, opening 4 of 5 from the field.

He later drained a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer, to close the first half with 19 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field, 6-of-6 shooting from the line, along with five rebounds.

He had 24 points and nine rebounds when he went to the bench to close the third period.

Butler closed 7 of 10 from the field, 9 of 13 from the line, with nine rebounds.

3. Herro milestone: Herro’s second 3-pointer of the night was the 700th of the Heat guard’s career.

With that conversion, he became the second fastest player in Heat history to reach 700, doing it in his 272nd career game. Duncan Robinson did it in an NBA-record 216 games.

Herro is the fifth Heat player to record 700 3-pointers, joining Robinson, Tim Hardaway, Eddie Jones and Glen Rice.

4. Terry tracker: Rozier continues to be a work in progress with his shooting since being acquired from the Charlotte Hornets for Kyle Lowry and a first-round pick, this time opening 0 for 5 and then moving to 2 of 10 through three periods.

Rozier entered after in his first five Heat games shooting 3 of 11, 3 of 10, 4 of 12, 8 of 14 and then 1 of 8 in Wednesday night’s victory over the Kings.

This time he closed 2 of 13 from the field, but also 11 of 11 from the line.

5. Zone press: While the Heat were sloppy early, with seven first-half turnovers, they eventually reversed the trend by again moving to the zone press, the approach that proved so successful in Wednesday night’s victory over the Kings.

The Wizards scored just two baskets the balance of the third period after the Heat went full time to the zone midway through the quarter.

The switch to the zone not only settled the Heat’s defense, but also sped up the Wizards and allowed the Heat to then play more in transition.

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