Wizards Overcome Boogie and Dance to Victory in OT, 101-95 | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wizards Overcome Boogie and Dance to Victory in OT, 101-95

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Updated: November 29, 2016

The long five minutes of overtime had all of the dreaded ingredients of an unsavory, malodorous, #SoWizards, late-game choke job. 

But this story starts in the fourth quarter. Both of Sacramento’s top two players, DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay, were on the bench for nearly five minutes midway through the final period. The Wizards scored 12 points and amassed an eight-point lead, thanks to consecutive 3-point shots by Bradley Beal, while the Kings scored just two during that same stretch. Then the shenanigans began.

Cousins scored 10 of the Kings’ final 12 points on a dazzling array of jumpers after behind-the-back dribbles, open shots from the top of the key, and drives to the basket at the expense of both Marcin Gortat and Markieff Morris. Beal, who had been the main offensive threat the entire game (28 points), barely touched the ball down the stretch save for two missed free throws and a shot that was blocked by Cousins. And at the end of regulation, instead of getting to the basket where he could possibly draw a foul or find Beal open on the wing, John Wall drove halfway in the lane, then shot a high degree of difficulty 19-footer over Darren Collison, which fell short.

When Scott Brooks was asked why he called the final play of regulation for Wall, who had shot just 5-for-13 with 13 points and 10 turnovers up to that point, instead of Beal, who had shot a robust 11-for-21 for 28 points, he had this to say:

“We wanted to make sure that they didn’t have time on the clock, and that’s the risk you take when you run a pin down action. I wanted to just make sure that was the last shot. He could have attacked I thought, but I trust John to make good decisions. Tonight he had a tough night with his turnovers but he didn’t let that get him down.”

Despite their late fourth quarter collapse, the Wizards were able to re-focus on defense and find just enough offense to win the game in overtime. They held the Kings to three points on a contested 3-pointer by Rudy Gay and peppered in nine points of their own. Three of those nine points came with 1:57 left in overtime when Beal used a Gortat screen to free himself from the ample defensive pressure of former Wizard Garrett Temple. Beal missed the open shot but got another chance when Morris rebounded and threw the ball back to him; he nailed the second chance to put the Wizards up 97-92.

When asked about that play after the game, Jedi DeMarcus Cousins was thoroughly disgusted: “He definitely had a big game, he had some big shots. One possession where he missed the first one, got it back, then made it. Man . . .” and then he trailed off and shook his head.

John Wall hit all four of his free throws after Beal’s basket, and the Kings, who had played and won the night before in Brooklyn against the Nets, simply ran out of gas. The Wizards won their sixth game of the season, and their third in four games, 101-95. Despite the victory, this was a nasty game to watch, as Cousins opined in his post game comments. Both teams combined for 43 turnovers (Wall had a game-high 11), and there were 47 total fouls called. Aside from Beal and Cousins, no player on either team was able to develop any semblance of offensive flow.

Still, there were plenty of proverbial game balls to be given out, but Beal deserves the bulk of the praise for this Wizards victory. He hit a career-high seven 3-pointers, and he scored over 30 points (31) for the third time in the last five games. He only got to the free throw line twice (he missed both of them), but his 50 percent shooting from the field (including 53 percent from the 3-point line) more than made up for that. And when Beal wasn’t shooting the lights out, leading the bench players, or trying to wrestle a rebound away from the bigger, stronger Cousins, he was chasing down blocks and then putting exclamation points on possessions.

Like this one:

Marcin Gortat.

Gortat didn’t have the best game offensively (10 points and seven rebounds), and on paper he was thoroughly abused by Cousins, who had 36 points, 20 rebounds, four assists, and two steals in 40 minutes of play (one night after amassing 37 points, 11 rebounds, and four steals in 36 minutes). Despite Beal’s assertion that Gortat would need help, he was often on an island against Cousins and more than held his own by forcing Cousins to shoot more than 30 times to get that point total.

“It’s hard for me to say this because [DeMarcus] Cousins had 36 [points] and 20 [rebounds], but Marcin did a great job on him,” Brooks said after the game. “It took 34 shots to get those 36 points, and probably four or five was just like ‘Are you kidding me?’ – couldn’t do anything better than what he did, but he made them.

“He’s a great player, he’s an All-Star, he’s an all NBA player, but I thought Marcin battled him throughout the game, made his catches and shots tough and made him miss I think, 18 shots.”

Otto Porter.

The Wizards leaned heavily on Beal in the first half (18 points), but in the third quarter when they were trying to tread water and stay in the game, it was Porter who came to the rescue. Before leaving the floor with four fouls with 2:37 left in the third quarter, Porter had nine points, three rebounds, and two steals. He also ran the court, deflected balls, and provided the Wizards with energy and scoring to offset Cousin’s 11 third-quarter points. It wasn’t his most impressive effort from a scoring standpoint, but on a night when only one of the Wizards’ two best players was on, he did an admirable job of holding it down until Beal regained his shooting touch.

Kelly Oubre.

Against the San Antonio Spurs, Oubre played just 2:36 in the second quarter thanks to a sizable defensive gaffe where his man scored an easy layup. Scott Brooks promptly subbed Oubre out of the game for Porter, and he spent the remainder of the game as a spectator.

Prior to Monday night’s game against the Kings, Brooks was quite clear about what he expected to see from Oubre off the bench:

“He has to focus and lock in on playing right away. And you don’t have five or six minutes to get into the rhythm of the game. When you’re coming off the bench and when you’re watching the game, that’s your time to get ready. You have the ability to see the game from the bench, and that’s an advantage. You can’t to see how the defense is going, you get to see the hot hand and that’s an advantage, so when you get in the game you gotta lock in. You can’t get beat back door, you can’t get beat in transition, you can’t get beat off of pin downs. It’s one thing if a guy makes a tough shot over you but you can’t give up easy points.”

Oubre checked into the game with 2:01 left in the first quarter and shortly thereafter grabbed an offensive rebound and put-back off a missed 3-pointer by Tomas Satoransky, giving the Wizards a 25-19 lead after one period. Oubre continued to play aggressively in the second quarter when he had six points and six rebounds. In the fourth quarter, both of his offensive rebounds led to Wizards baskets. His first rebound turned into an assist to Beal, who gave the Wizards a 79-78 lead, and his second offensive rebound of the period led to two made free throws after Sacramento’s Willie Cauley-Stein fouled him. Oubre even mixed it up with Cousins a bit after the two got tangled fighting for a rebound.

He was aggressive on both ends of the floor and earned coach Brooks’ trust back after the game with hustle plays like these:

Noted.

#1) The Wizards picked up three technical fouls on Monday—one from Wall (his fourth this year), one from Brooks, and one from a very demonstrative Gortat, who collapsed to the floor in disbelief with his hands on his head. Morris, whom Brooks implored to keep his cool during games after getting thrown out of Saturday’s Spurs game, did not draw a technical. After the game, Brooks said he and his team had to a better job of staying cool.

#2) John Wall banged his knee early in the first half against the Kings, and he seemed to be shaking his wrist at various points during the game as well. Neither Wall nor Brooks mentioned the wrist after the game, but he is expected to get treatment and miss tomorrow’s practice. No word on whether Wall will miss Wednesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

#3) Ian Mahinmi missed the Kings game with soreness in his non-surgically repaired right knee. Brooks said this was a precautionary measure and his status for Wednesday’s game is not yet known.

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Rashad Mobley
Reporter/Writer at TAI
Rashad has been covering the NBA and the Washington Wizards since 2008—his first two years were spent at Hoops Addict before moving to Truth About It. Rashad has appeared on ESPN and college radio, SportsTalk on NewsChannel 8 in Washington D.C., and his articles have appeared on ESPN TrueHoop, USAToday.com, Complex Magazine, and the DCist. He considers Kareem Abdul-Jabbar a hero and he had the pleasure of interviewing him back in 2009.