Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade made his final appearance Saturday at Capital One Arena in northwest D.C. as he plans to retire after a 16-year career.
The sellout crowd at Capital One Arena saw the 13-time All-Star and three-time NBA champion lead the Heat in scoring with 20 points along with nine rebounds to hand the Washington Wizards a fourth straight loss, 113-108.
“The NBA needs to just fine the Miami Heat for allowing him to retire,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said jokingly after Wade’s performance. “He’s too good. He’s too fun to watch. He’s a winner. He competes. His spirit is always in the right spot.”
Miami (36-37) played on back-to-back games after a 116-87 lost Friday in Wisconsin to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wade and his teammates found some energy from the arena as thousands of fans chanted “Let’s Go Heat!” They clapped, gasped and jumped out of their seats whenever Wade touched the ball, passed or scored.
Wade scored 11 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter. He led the Heat in scoring. His teammate Bam Adebayo recorded a near triple-double with 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal said he isn’t surprised that Wade, 37, can still play at such a high level that includes his patented fadeaway baseline jumper.
“He’s first-ballot [Hall of Famer], no-brainer,” said Beal, who scored 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting. “He still has game. He doesn’t get sped up. I think he has more, but that’s his decision.”
The Wizards (30-44) held a 44-31 lead in the second quarter, but Miami went on a 21-9 run to cut the deficit to one at halftime.
The game remained close most of the second half that included double technical fouls on Heat forward Kelly Olynyk and Wizards center Thomas Bryant at the 5:04 mark of the fourth quarter. Video replay showed Olynyk pushed Bryant, who fell to the floor and then began to roll over a few times.
Washington still had a chance late, but point guard Tomas Satoransky missed a wide-open 3-pointer that would have tied the game at 109.
“It felt like a rhythm shot,” Satoransky said. “When I released the ball, I saw it wasn’t going in. I tried to get the rebound. … Unfortunately, we didn’t grab the rebound.”
On Miami’s next possession, Wade recorded the team’s final assist on an inbounds play that led to a Kelly Olynyk dunk to put Miami ahead 111-106 with 16.8 seconds left.
In a rare feat, Washington led in the rebounding department 53-44, but only shot 43 percent from the floor. In comparison, Miami shot 50 percent.
The Wizards will begin a four-game West Coast trip Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers (31-41).
Meanwhile, Miami (36-37) currently occupies the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and one game ahead of the Orlando Magic and 2½ games in front of the Charlotte Hornets.
Washington (30-44) sits 6½ games back in 11th place with eight games left in the regular season.
As for Wade, he appreciated “the love” from the fans.
“I was tired,” said Wade, who came into Saturday’s game ranked 30th in league history with 22,962 points. “Sometimes it gets a little scary over there, but it’s just love. I appreciate it. I’ve given everything to the game that I’ve wanted to give and that’s what I’m giving back.”