MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — Losing eight of ten and holding a poor 9-20 record is finally beginning to take its toll on the Miami Heat and the team’s star player.
Center Hassan Whiteside let his frustrations show after Miami’s double-overtime loss to Orlando on Tuesday night, complaining about his lack of touches in the final minutes.
Whiteside took just three shots in the two overtime periods and only one in the second extra session.
He finished with a career-high-tying 32 points to go with 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in Miami’s 136-130 defeat.
He was asked afterward if he felt like he was getting the ball enough in late moments.
“They say I’m the franchise player. I would think I should get more, but I don’t know, man,” said Whiteside, who is in the first year of a $98 million, four-year deal with the Heat. “I don’t think so, to be honest. But coach’s gonna coach.”
His postgame interview session ended there. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra’s after-game news conference was long completed at that point, so it wasn’t clear if he had any immediate reaction or if he was even aware of what Whiteside said.
The Heat wasted a five-point lead late in regulation and a four-point lead late in the first overtime while dropping to 9-20 on the season.
“No disrespect to the Magic or anything, but that was the most disappointing loss of the season in my opinion because we had so many chances to win that game,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside played 47 minutes and took 22 shots, both team-highs in the game. He became the second player in Heat history with five consecutive 15-rebound games, Rony Seikaly being the other in 1991.
“We needed a couple key stops at the end, a couple key rebounds at the end,” Whiteside said. “Sometimes the cookie crumbles like that. It was a heartbreaker, man. I’m not even going to lie to you on that. That really hurt.”
He meant emotionally, though there were some physical issues, as well.
Whiteside needed three stitches postgame to close a cut over his right eye and also said he has been playing with rib pain that flared up after some contact in the second half.
“There was a lot of plays that were questionable,” Whiteside said.
Whiteside, the only Heat player to appear in all 29 games, is averaging 18.1 points and an NBA-best 14.8 rebounds per game this season.
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