MIAMI – It’s something the Heat have no answers for during this uneven start to the season. But when you have won just 20 percent of your home games through the first seven weeks of the season, you start searching for those answers.
“If I’m honest I don’t know why,” Goran Dragic said Monday before the Heat improved their home record to 3-8 with a 112-101 win over Washington.
“Maybe because on the road you know it’s going to be tougher you’re fighting more. I don’t know. Maybe you just come together as a team more. We need to start doing that at home. We need to protect our home. Here we have our fans on our side. It should be much easier playing at home than away. But in our case, it’s the opposite. Hopefully we can turn this around.”
Miami is hoping Monday was that turning point, especially since it was the start of a six-game home stand. The Heat overcame two offensive dry spells during the game – both occurring not coincidentally with Dragic on the bench – and had one of their most efficient fourth quarters of the season for the rare home win.
Miami’s home wins have come against Sacramento (in overtime), Milwaukee and Washington, three teams with a combined 9-23 road record. Wednesday’s opponent, Indiana, is 3-8 away from home.
“Our guys aren’t oblivious, we know that our record is at home and we know that we’ve had some great inspiring tough-minded efforts on the road regardless of whether we were able to pull out a victory or not,” coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We’ve shown great toughness on the road. That needs to apply at home.”
It did Monday with Miami shooting better than 50 percent (.511) for just the third time this season thanks mostly to Dragic (34 points on 14 of 23 shooting) and James Johnson (14 points, 6-of-9 shooting). Miami held the Wizards to 36.4 percent (8-of-22) shooting in the fourth quarter while knocking down 63.2 percent (12-of-19) of their shots.
Miami now has the second worst home record in the league behind the 3-9 Timberwolves.
“We want to win at home in front of our fans, we want to give them something to cheer about,” Josh Richardson said. “No fan likes to watch its team lose every game.
“We’re trying to put something together.”