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Recap: Westbrook leads Wizards to 117-115 OT win over Pelicans
FINAL: Wizards 117 | Pelicans 115
Wizards: Russell Westbrook (36), Bradley Beal (30), Daniel Gafford (18)
Pelicans: Brandon Ingram (34), Zion Williamson (21), Naji Marshall (16)
The Wizards defeated the Pelicans 117-115 in overtime on Friday night at Capital One Arena for their fifth win in the last six games. Russell Westbrook led the way for Washington, finishing with a game-high 36 points, including 10 of the Wizards’ 12 points in overtime, to go along with 15 rebounds and nine assists. The game snapped a streak of six consecutive triple-doubles for Westbrook. Brandon Ingram scored a team-high 34 points for New Orleans.
Alex Len shot 3-3 (1.000) in the first five minutes of the game as Washington and New Orleans traded baskets in the opening minutes. Neither team led by more than six points and both shot above 50.0% in the opening frame. Led by 15 combined points from Len and Daniel Gafford, the Wizards led 30-29 after the first quarter. Washington opened the second on a 17-5 run, driven by Westbrook and Raul Neto, to take a 13-point lead less than five minutes into the quarter. The final seven minutes of the frame, however, belonged to the Pelicans. New Orleans attempted 15 of their 22 first half free throws and shot 68.0% from the field from the 6:55 mark of the second quarter until halftime, cutting the Washington lead from 13 to one at the break.
Westbrook and Bradley Beal combined to score the first 10 points of the second half for Washington, going up by five just a couple minutes into the third quarter. Minutes later, the Pelicans went on an 11-0 run to take an 80-72 lead. Zion Williamson scored 11 of his 21 points in the third quarter to help New Orleans maintain their advantage. Buckets from Gafford and Ish Smith in the final minute of the frame pulled Washington back within three heading to the fourth. Neither team managed much offense in the final quarter of regulation, combining for just 35 points on 30.9% shooting. Down by seven points with 2:04 left in the fourth, the Wizards closed on a 7-0 run, tying the game at 105, but were unable to overtake the lead before the end of regulation.
In overtime, Westbrook took over. Ingram opened the extra period with a difficult mid-range jumper before Westbrook knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. After the second, Gafford blocked Williamson on the other end to set up a fast break that resulted in a Westbrook layup to put Washington up four with 2:41 left. Tied at 113, Westbrook found Beal for an alley-oop layup, the only Wizards field goal of the overtime period not scored by Westbrook. With the game tied at 115, Williamson turned the ball over and set the Wizards up with a chance to win it at the buzzer. Westbrook let the clock run down and was fouled on a jumper with 1.9 seconds remaining and converted on both to give the Wizards the win.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Gafford’s 18 points, four blocks key to Wizards’ win
In his fourth game back from a sprained right ankle that kept him out for six games, Daniel Gafford put on another standout performance on both ends of the court. Gafford checked into the game for the first time with 3:12 left in the first quarter and immediately scored seven consecutive points for the Wizards, including an and-one alley-oop dunk that gave them a 28-26 lead. He finished the night with 18 points on 7-11 (.636) from the field and seven rebounds. His biggest impact, however, came on the defensive end. Four blocks, three of which came in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime, propelled the Wizards to a win.
Wizards survive cold night from 3-point range
The Wizards were playing without sharpshooter Davis Bertans (personal reasons), who had hit at least three triples in five of his last six games – and the on-court impact was apparent from the start. Down one of the best distance shooters in the NBA, Washington struggled to generate production from deep. As a team, the Wizards shot 4-27 (.148) from three, including 0-11 (.000) in the third and fourth quarters, tying a season low in 3-pointers made and setting a new low mark in percentage. The lone bright spot for the Wizards from deep was Westbrook, who shot 3-6 (.500) from deep, including 2-3 (.667) in overtime. Washington made up for the cold shooting night by attacking and converting close to the rim. As a team, the Wizards scored 62 points on 31-50 (.620) in the paint. The Wizards become the first time this season to win a game while shooting less than 15.0% from deep.
Ingram, Williamson combine for 55
Ingram led the way for the Pelicans from the jump, scoring 14 points in the first quarter on 5-7 (.714) from the field. He finished the night with 34 points on 12-27 (.444) shooting. The performance was crucial for New Orleans as Zion Williamson, who entered the game averaging 31.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.0 assists in his last 10 games, got into early foul trouble. After picking up his third foul of the night with 9:11 left in the second quarter, Williamson did not play the remainder of the first half. Williamson did most of his work in the second half, totaling 15 points and five rebounds.
NEXT UP: Pistons at Wizards / Saturday, April 17 / 8:00 P.M. / Capital One Arena
HIGHLIGHT OF THE NIGHT