Wizards beat Thunder at the buzzer
BY Associated Press
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 6:53 AM
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bradley Beal didn't have a plan. What he had was a good move.
Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left Monday night, lifting the short-handed Washington Wizards to a 101-99 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, which missed 16 straight shots at one stretch.
Beal used a pump fake to get open for the 16-footer that gave the Wizards (5-28) their second win this season over last year's NBA finalists.
"I didn't know what I was going to do to be honest with you," Beal said. "Coach just said go make a play."
Once Beal sent the Thunder (26-8) to the showers, its players were doused with cold water in the away arena.
"We let them stick around, because we're not taking them serious enough," OKC's Kevin Durant said. "We can't do that, man. We can't do that."
Said Thunder coach Scott Brooks: "Truthfully, there is no way around it. The better team tonight won."
The Wizards, playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led Washington with 22 points each.
Durant, who had 29 points, drove through the lane for a thunderous dunk to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 95-94 with just more than two minutes left. Martell Webster answered with a four-point play to give the Wizards a 99-94 lead.
Then, Serge Ibaka made a jumper, and Durant made a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 99.
"I thought we had a chance," Russell Westbrook said. "We just had to get a stop. But the way the game had been going for us throughout the game, it wouldn't surprise me if they would make a game-winner."
Durant and Westbrook each scored at least 20 points in Oklahoma City's last five games, but Westbrook finished with just 17 points Monday, hitting 4-of-17 from the field.
Ibaka stepped up as Durant's complement, scoring 26 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
The Thunder's cold stretch lasted from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter, and it made just 43 percent of its shots and 24 percent of its 3-pointers for the game.
Beal made a four-point play to end the third quarter, and that began an 8-0 Washington run. When the game got tight late, Beal delivered again.
"How many times have we been in this spot?" Wizards coach Randy Wittman said. "We're going to get the last shot. I said, 'It's time for us to be on the other end, to have someone step up and make a play.' Bradley made a hell of a shot."
Four years ago, the Thunder started 3-29, even worse than Wittman's Wizards to open this season.
"I know how Randy feels," Brooks said. "It's not easy, because you don't see a lot of sunshine. But, they have good players that work hard, and eventually it turns around. ... Kevin Durant helps, also."
The Wizards' 30 first-quarter points matched a season high for the opening period.
By the numbers
Oklahoma City's record entering Monday's game
Washington's record entering Monday's game
Total shooting by Russell Westbrook and Kevin Martin
Fourth-quarter shooting by Westbrook and Kevin Durant
Original Print Headline: Thunder beaten at the buzzer
7 p.m. Wednesday
Radio: KYAL fm97.1
Wizards guard Bradley Beal hits the game-winning shot as he is guarded by the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins in the final second Monday night in Washington. ALEX BRANDON / Associated Press