Pierce repeatedly cited Washington's defense following Friday's 105-103 victory over the Heat, saying that the Wizards need to "build better habits."
"We got to build ourselves on great habits," Pierce said, according to the Washington Post. "Tonight I wasn't happy with the defense, especially against a team struggling to score 100 points. We allowed them to shoot too high of a percentage. So them aren't the habits we want to have throughout the course [of the season]."
The Wizards erased a fourth-quarter deficit Friday for their sixth straight win and 11th in their last 12 games. Pierce scored 14 points for Washington (19-6), which enters play Saturday with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference and the fifth-best in the NBA.
"Even though we had a comeback -- that's nice and all -- but we're building for the long run," Pierce said, according to the Post. "It's not about today, winning the game today and how we won. We're building habits for the great teams, we're building habits for the playoffs, and that's what I'm looking at each and every night."
"You can learn a lot of lessons from losses, but you also learn lessons from winning," Pierce said. "Hopefully we have better urgency on defense as this stretch comes up. We got Phoenix, Chicago, and of course New York and then our [Western Conference] trip. So we got to build better habits before this trip."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.