Miami Heat

Heat blows 17-point lead, unravels in fourth quarter in loss to Kings

Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters, right, keeps the ball out of the reach of Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif.
Miami Heat guard Dion Waiters, right, keeps the ball out of the reach of Sacramento Kings guard De’Aaron Fox during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, in Sacramento, Calif. AP

It looked like it was going to be another road win for the Heat. Instead, it turned into a missed opportunity.

The Heat (25-28) wasted a 17-point third quarter lead, as the Kings (29-26) rallied to a 102-96 win Friday at at Golden 1 Center. Miami is now 1-1 on its five-game West Coast trip and has lost four straight to Sacramento.

With the Heat leading for most of the contest, the Kings didn’t take their first lead of the game until a Buddy Hield made free throw with 1:21 remaining in the fourth quarter.

After the Heat built a 79-62 lead in the third quarter, Sacramento outscored Miami 40-17 the rest of the way. The Kings’ run included a 27-13 edge in the final period.

The Heat made just six of its 24 shots in the fourth quarter.

Hield led the Kings’ comeback, finishing the game with 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting.

Center Hassan Whiteside finished with 17 points and 19 rebounds.

Guard Dion Waiters, who made his first start of the season Friday in place of the departed Tyler Johnson, ended the night with 12 points on 4-of-12 shooting.

Even when things were going right for the Heat in the first half, there was a scary moment. Guard Dwyane Wade went back to the locker room after taking a hard fall on a rebound attempt with 10 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Wade, who finished with 15 points and four assists, eventually was able to get back in the game with 4:35 remaining in the second quarter. The Heat announced that he passed the concussion protocol and suffered a right elbow contusion on the play.

Next up for the Heat is one of the toughest back-to-back sets in the NBA, one that includes games against the Western Conference’s top two teams. Miami travels to face the potent Golden State Warriors on Sunday before taking on the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

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Anthony Chiang covers the Miami Heat for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and was born and raised in Miami.


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