With 1.8 seconds remaining in the game, the Wizards trailed 118-117. Everyone in the arena knew who the ball was going to. A player as offensively talented as Bradley Beal was the clear choice to try to get the last shot.
But with less than two seconds remaining in the game, it’s all about being efficient. There isn’t enough time for a simple inbound and clear out at the top of the key.
As Troy Brown Jr. was getting ready to inbound the ball, Beal received a back screen from Moe Wagner. Wagner’s screen freed up Beal and resulted in an open path to the basket. Troy Brown Jr. threw the pass to a cutting Beal and Beal laid the ball of the glass to give the Wizards a one-point lead.
The game initially appeared to be over but due to a clock malfunction, there were still two-tenths of a second remaining in the game. Dallas went with a big lineup, which included Boban Marjanovic. But Washington broke out their own jumbo line-up. Anzejs Pasecniks guarded the inbounder while Moe Wagner, Ian Mahinmi, Davis Bertans, and Rui Hachimura tried to prevent the tip-in. This super-sized group was successful in their efforts.
Strong Performances from Beal and Hachimura
Bradley Beal’s streak of scoring 30 or more points came to an end. Beal still got very close to keeping the streak going, scoring 29 points.
In his second game back from injury, Rui Hachimura scored 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Hachimura has been very efficient in his first two games back, shooting an average of 62.5-percent from the field to go along with 8 rebounds per game. This is an encouraging sign because players often need a few games to get their rhythm back after returning from injury. In fact, Scott Brooks joked during his press conference that when he played he couldn’t afford to miss one practice or he would forget how to dribble or shoot.
Hachimura was out from December 16 until February 3. It’s natural for a player to be rusty after missing that much time. But Hachimura appears to be picking up where he left off.
Great contributions across the board
Washington also got great contributions from Davis Bertans and Troy Brown Jr. Bertans scored 20 points while shooting 5-of-9 from long range. Troy Brown scored 10 points to go along with the game-winning assist.
Point guard production was also very solid for Washington. Ish Smith scored 14 points and dished out 6 assists. Newly acquired guard Shabazz Napier scored 14 points and knocked down 4 three-pointers. He looked pretty comfortable with his new teammates, all things considered.
The Wizards will be back in action on Sunday when they get ready to take on the Memphis Grizzlies. The Grizzlies have been playing solid Basketball as of late, going 6-4 in their previous 10 games.
Sunday’s game will take place at Capital One Arena, with a 6 pm tip off time.