(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Wizards have been struggling of late and will renew their Southeast Division rivalry with the Miami Heat Friday from the Verizon Center.
The Wizards have lost 12 of their last 15 games and dropped a 97-92 decision at Chicago on Tuesday. John Wall tallied 21 points and 11 assists to lead free-falling Washington and Paul Pierce added 16 points.
Washington made 41.7 percent from the field and Marcin Gortat collected 12 points and 12 rebounds.
"We take too many periods of the game where we coast," Wizards coach Randy Wittman said.
Washington is 21-10 at home and will visit Milwaukee and Charlotte next.
Wizards forward Kris Humphries (hamstring) is expected to miss Friday's game.
Miami went 2-1 on its recent homestand and recorded a 100-94 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday thanks to Dwyane Wade's 25 points. The Heat had a three-point lead cut down to one twice during the game's waning stages, but Wade found Hassan Whiteside for pick-and-roll baskets on both ensuing possessions to help Miami pull out an important victory.
"It's good to see us show some grit in the fourth quarter," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Whiteside grabbed a career-best 25 rebounds and added 18 points with four blocks for the Heat, who sit seventh in the East. Goran Dragic netted 21 points for a second straight game to go along with six assists.
The Heat are 15-16 on the road and will start another three-game homestand Saturday versus Sacramento, Boston and Brooklyn. They are 1-2 against Washington this season and have lost four of the previous six encounters with their division foes.
Miami is winless in its last three visits to the nation's capital.