Jordan Crawford had a peculiar night on Saturday in Miami. He was probably most responsible for helping the Wizards get the win when he got tangled in the first three minutes with Dwyane Wade, but he couldn’t help his team pull away from the Heat leftovers because of an inability to make shots.
Wade didn’t register a single statistic before Chris Singleton came to set a screen and Wade got his left index finger caught in Crawford’s jersey. Wade immediately leaned over and started grimacing. When the Heat came back from a timeout, Terrel Harris was in the game, Wade was in the training room getting a splint on his dislocated finger, and Crawford didn’t have any idea that he played a role in sending him there.
“I didn’t even see it. What happened?” Crawford asked after the game.
When he told that Wade got his finger caught on Crawford’s jersey, he asked, “On me? I didn’t know at all. I seen him lean over and walking out.”
Crawford may not have been aware of what led to Wade’s absence, but he knew that with LeBron James and Chris Bosh already getting the night off, the Wizards had to “take advantage of it. Take advantage and get a win.”
He also knew that he was having a difficult night from the floor. In the first half, Crawford was perfect on shot attempts from halfcourt, but 0-for-everywhere else, as he missed his first eight shots.
Since shooters shoot – and Crawford is never afraid to shoot – he gave the Wizards a 45-37 lead at the break with a heave from Heat logo. He then hit a difficult runner early in the third quarter that bounded high off the rim, then dropped.
Crawford is still dealing with soreness in his right ankle, but said, “It ain’t a problem.” The ankle wasn’t much of a problem on Wednesday, when he matched his season high with 32 points in leading the Wizards in a win over Milwaukee. But he wasn’t able to attack the basket much against the Heat, failing to attempt a free throw after the first quarter. That wasn’t for lack of trying, though.
With about 20 seconds remaining, Crawford had a chance to put the game out of reach when he got the ball near the three-point line and decided to drive inside. He stumbled into Heat guard Mike Miller, fell to the ground and lost the ball to Shane Battier, who got it ahead to Mario Chalmers. Chalmers took an errant shot and Udonis Haslem came from behind to catch the offensive rebound and dunked in the same motion.
As the play unfolded, Crawford hunched over, grabbing his shorts near his own basket as the whole sequence unfolded. What was he thinking? “Foul,” Crawford said. “I wanted a foul. That’s all that was running through my mind.”
Crawford’s teammates came over to him to offer encouragement, and Brian Cook told that he was going to hit the game-winner. John Wall fed Nene for the decisive basket with a half-second remaining, sparing Crawford from having to dwell on that last sequence and allowing the Wizards to win their third game in a row.
“It was a great win,” Crawford said. “Great win.”