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Beal's last-second layup lifts Wizards over Mavericks, 119-118
Bradley Beal hit a go-ahead layup with 0.2 seconds left on the clock to lift the Wizards (18-32) past the Mavericks (31-21) 119-118 on Friday night at Capital One Arena. Beal scored a game-high 29 points to go along with eight assists and five rebounds. With the win, the Wizards are now 6-2 in their last eight home games.
Down two with 45 seconds to go, an isolated Beal found a cutting Davis Bertans, who was fouled and hit both free throws to tie the game at 117 apiece. On the following Dallas possession, Isaac Bonga blocked Kristaps Porzingis at the rim, keeping the tie intact. With under 10 seconds to go, Washington went back to Beal, but he was unable to convert on a reverse layup that would have put Washington ahead. On the other end, Tim Hardaway Jr. drove and drew a blocking foul on Bonga with 1.8 seconds to go. Hardaway Jr. went to the line, but hit just one of two free throws, leaving the door open for the Wizards.
Brooks called a timeout and drew up a winner. With 1.8 seconds on the clock and Troy Brown Jr. quarterbacking the inbound play, Beal found space off a high screen from Mortiz Wagner, caught a perfect pass and put in a difficult driving layup for the win.
“It was a great game,” Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. “This game was back and forth throughout the game, a sellout crowd, a great atmosphere. Players are playing hard. (Dallas is) a tough team. This team plays. Their record on the road is really good. But I thought we made a lot of important shots a lot of important stops at the end. Brad [Beal]'s play [was a] great finish…Troy [Brown Jr.] made a great pass that's not an easy pass under pressure like that.”
“Coach drew up a great play,” Beal said. “He wanted me to get a full head of steam downhill. The play was really for me to come up closer to the ball and attack downhill, but they kind of fumbled the switch and I cut back-door and Troy [Brown Jr.] made a great pass. I was just thankful I was able to make one…I’m just happy my teammates trusted me and coach trusted me to pull us out with this win.”
The one-point win was fitting on a night neither team managed to create much separation. The Mavericks’ eight-point lead in the third quarter was the largest differential in a game that featured 21 lead changes and 12 ties.
The game was Washington’s first since acquiring Shabazz Napier and Jerome Robinson in separate deals prior to Thursday afternoon’s trade deadline. Napier made his Wizards debut while Robinson is expected to make his first appearance on Sunday against Memphis.
Upon entering the game for the first time, subbing in for Ish Smith with 3:47 left in the opening quarter, Napier made an immediate impact. He showed energy on the defensive end and scored five points in his first three minutes on the court – hitting a step-back 3-pointer and a driving layup off a transition spin move. Napier finished 14 points in 18 minutes, most of which came from beyond the arc. Napier shot 4-6 (.667) from three, tying his season high for 3-pointers made.
“He was great,” Bertans said of Napier. “It was even hard to notice that he just got here today. He got in the game and there are still some plays that he needs to learn, but other than that, it felt great to have him there. He was pushing the pace. I think he compliments the team. The way Ish [Smith] is playing, coming in and keeping the pace up, he was finding people, he was scoring, he was doing a lot of great things for us tonight.”
Napier was one of three Wizards bench players to score in double figures. Bertans scored 20 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter, and grabbed eight rebounds. Bertans shot 5-9 (.555) from 3-point range, his league-leading 18th game this season with at least four 3-pointers off the bench.
As a team, the Wizards shot 45-90 (.500) from the field and 19-38 (.500) from 3-point range, their fifth game this season shooting at least 50.0% from both the field and from three. Only the Heat have more such games (six) this season.
The Wizards continue their six-game homestand on Sunday, hosting the Grizzlies (26-26) at 6:00 P.M. Memphis is coming off a 12-point loss to Philadelphia on Friday night.