101

99

Tied at 99 with the clock winding down, the 19-year old rookie Bradley Beal stepped up and hit the biggest shot of his young career to sink the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-99, on Monday night at Verizon Center.

The Wizards led the game for much of the fourth quarter, but a late Thunder run, helped by a long game-tying three-point shot from D.C. native Kevin Durant with 33 seconds left, had the score all knotted up at 99. A.J. Price had a look with about 14 seconds left that fell short, but the ball went out of bounds off of the Thunder. The Wizards took a timeout and drew up a play that put the ball in Bradley Beal's hand. Beal took a few dribbles to his right, gave a head fake, and hit the game-winner with 0.3 seconds left to seal the win for the Wiz.

It was a big win for an undermanned Wizards squad who have now beat both representatives in last year's NBA Finals, the Heat and the Thunder. For a team playing without five players, including some of their top scoring options like John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and Nene, this was one of the more impressive wins one will see.

The Wizards got off to a great start to the game and had a 30-20 lead after the first quarter. They went back and forth in the second quarter until a Serge Ibaka three-pointer gave the Thunder a 55-52 lead at the half. A four point play at the end of the third quarter gave the Wizards a 76-73 lead heading into the fourth. The Wizards held off the Thunder until the final minute when Kevin Durant tied the score at 99 before Bradley Beal would finish the Thunder with his game-winner.

Both Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price returned to the Wizards lineup after missing the past few weeks with injuries. Ariza finished with three points and three rebounds in 14 minutes while Price finished with four points, five rebounds, and five assists in 16 minutes.

Bradley Beal and Martell Webster led the team with 22 points each. Kevin Seraphin, starting for the injured Nene, finished with 19 points and five rebounds, while Emeka Okafor tallied another double double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Next, the Wizards have four days off until they host the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night at Verizon Center.


Bradley Beal
Points: 22
Rebounds: 5
Assists: 4

Click here to see how you did!


Points: Beal and Webster - 22
Rebounds: Emeka Okafor - 12
Assists: A.J. Price - 5
Blocks: Emeka Okafor - 2
Steals: 5 Tied - 1

On the game:

“Well, first off, win or lose, I couldn’t have been more proud of the guys. After how the game ended last night in Miami, and flying back, I was really proud. I told the guys before we took the floor that the nine we put out there were going to play hard. I knew that. I knew those nine were going to go out and give everything they had.”

On the final two plays of the game:

“That was a little frustrating because it felt like we gave up 18 offensive rebounds at the end there. Then, (Kevin) Durant hits that tough three there right at the end. He does that, I mean, that guy is incredible. The different ways he can score makes it so tough. I just said at the timeout to the guys, ‘How many times have we been in this spot?’ We’re going to get the last shot. If we make it we win. It’s time for us to be on the other end, to have someone step up and make a play. Bradley (Beal) made a hell of a shot, a hell of a play with a pump fake to get (Kendrick) Perkins to go for it, he kind of dipped down underneath him. He made a hell of a shot.”
On game-winner:

“The play in itself was just for me to have a high pick and roll with Kevin (Seraphin). In the pick and roll they were switching, so we were just going to go have me try to make a one-on-one play. At first they tried to switch but then it was miscommunication, (Thabo) Sefolosha backed off me and kind of created a lane and left (Kendrick) Perkins a little bit so I just drove the ball. They knew I was going to try and take a jumper so I just head-faked and they both went for it.”

On confidence:

“It’s even higher, but I’m staying level headed, still being humble, and I still have a lot of work to do. Yes, it’s a big shot but there are still a lot of things in the game that I didn’t do well and want to improve on. I mean I’m celebrating the shot but I also have to move on from it.”
On game:

“The moral of tonight’s story was just buying into the system, defensively and offensively we did that. We executed our defensive plans. Even though they got shots, those were things we were going to live with. Defensively, we went out and laid it on the line. Wore our heart on our sleeves and we came out and we executed in the last two minutes with clock management. Garrett (Temple), A.J. (Price), Brad (Beal) did a wonderful job of that. We got that win. That’s the only thing that matters.”

On Bradley Beal:

“People were saying a lot of things you know ‘Has he hit the wall?’. No, that kid has a passion and you saw it tonight. He was tired and we kept going to him. Kept talking to him and encouraging him. When it comes down to the last shot it doesn’t matter, you can be as tired as you want but there is something about it that lifts you up. You get that energy and he got it. He got it and he was confident in the shot. Got two guys to bite on the pump fake, stepped through easy. It looked slow motion, he looked very comfortable doing it like he has done it a hundred times.”