After a pair of free throws from Kyrie Irving looked to have put the result beyond doubt for the Nets at 146-141, Bradley Beal raced up court to the Nets’ three-point line, where, with only 8 seconds on the clock, a hopeful three-pointer gave his team a glimpse of light, and a catalyst for what came next.
The hurried inbound pass from Joe Harris was intercepted by Garrison Matthews, and then shifted to Russell Westbrook who — with time running out — let fly a final attempt which rattled home, to round off a dramatic comeback for the Wizards.
“We fought, we battled, we clawed, and we gave ourselves a chance. Hopefully this is the start of something that we’re going to be pretty proud of.”
In a standout performance, game-winner Westbrook scored 15 of his season-best 41 points in the final quarter, with 10 rebounds and eight assists also driving his Wizards to a vital victory.
“Russell willed this game,” acknowledged his coach. “This is what he does. He can do it every night. He doesn’t take nights off… He plays hard, he competes, he lays everything on the floor.”
The Wizards will be hoping this victory could be a springboard for the remainder of the season, having only won four games — and losing 12 — all season.
On the other hands, having acquired James Harden in a blockbuster trade, the 13-9 Nets will be hoping the shock defeat to the lowly Wizards is just an aberration.
Jokic halts the Jazz
The longest unbeaten run in the NBA season was halted in its tracks as a monstrous career-best performance from Denver Nuggets’ superstar center Nikola Jokic condemned the Utah Jazz to a first loss in 12 games.
In a rampaging offense, the big Serbian started quickly, racking up 22 points in the first quarter and ending with a commanding 47 in Denver’s 128-117 win.
“They’re playing amazing, they have 11 wins a row, they’re shooting the ball real well. It is a really nice win for us.”
The Nuggets move to a 12-8 record while the Jazz have a 15-5 record after the defeat.