Holding his side and grimacing in pain, Hassan Whiteside became the latest player to join the crowded injury list of the Miami Heat.
With Whiteside leaving Wednesday night’s game midway through the second quarter, the Heat lost the NBA’s leading shot blocker and the Wizards took advantage in a 106-87 win in which they never trailed.
In losing for the sixth time in its last seven games, Miami (23-20) got 18 points from Chris Bosh and 16 from Luol Deng, who was poked in the eye late in the game and left the court.
“Finger square in the eye,” Heat coach Erik Spolestra said.
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The Heat allowed the Wizards to shoot 52.3 percent from the floor, and committed 15 of its 20 turnovers in the first half when Washington rolled to a 14-point lead.
The Wizards (20-21) were propelled by guards John Wall (18 points, 10 assists) and Bradley Beal (18 points). With Whiteside out, Washington center Marcin Gortat (15 points, 12 rebounds) also thrived, along with power forward Nene (16 points, five steals).
Whiteside left the game with 6:18 left in the first half and did not return.
“It’s his hip. He don’t know if it’s a contusion or a hip strain,” Spolestra said. “We’ll find out tomorrow.”
The Heat later said that Whiteside had a left oblique strain.
Washington took advantage of his absence immediately, scoring on seven of its final eight possessions of the half to take a lead that Miami never seriously challenged in the second half.
“It’s tough. Everybody wants to be out there and to contribute the way they can,” said Whiteside who added there was “no chance” he could have played in the second half. “I really wanted to be out there and help my teammates.”
The Heat had hoped that Dwyane Wade could play Wednesday night. But after testing his sore shoulder in warmups, he was a late scratch from the starting lineup.
His replacement, Gerald Green (four points), hit just 2 of 10 shots.
“I couldn’t lift my arm up over my head,” said Wade who scored two points in 21 minutes Tuesday in a loss to Milwaukee.
“It’s pretty inflamed right now. It needs to calm down. It’s gonnna be a day-to-day process. It’s very unfortunate because we’re down so many bodies, but you’ve got to do what’s best.”
Miami is particularly thin in the backcourt with Goran Dragic (strained left calf) and Beno Udrih (neck strain) already out. They missed their fifth and third straight game, respectively, joining Chris Andersen and Josh McRoberts on the injured list.
Help arrived in Jarnell Stokes, a 6-9 forward who has averaged 20.4 points and 9.6 rebounds in 14 games for Sioux Falls of the NBA Developmental League. Stokes (four points) played the game’s final five minutes.
“It was good minutes,” Spolestra said. “He impressed us with his time at Sioux Falls.”
Amar’e Stoudemire (11 points), who entered averaging 3.4 points per game, scored the first seven points for the Heat in the second quarter to get Miami to within 31-29.
But shortly afterward, Whiteside was hurt and Miami lost its inside presence.
Bosh hit a three-pointer with 5:06 left in the third quarter, which got the Heat to within 61-56.
But Washington resumed control as Nene hit a driving dunk and Beal and Garrett Temple (11 points) added three-pointers. By the end of the quarter, Washington had an 81-64 lead.
Thursday will be a day of rest and recovery for the Heat in Toronto. They play the Raptors on Friday night.
“Two weeks ago we were going into a West coast road trip really trying to prove ourselves with our whole roster,” Bosh said. “And now we’ve got five or six or seven out. Just a tough pill to swallow.”