Magical Pixels, Wizards vs. Magic: Bradley Beal saves the day, and now we pray

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley Beal saved the Wizards from an embarrassing and potentially-crippling overtime loss to the Magic when he chased down and blocked a Jameer Nelson layup. But moments later Beal tweaked his ankle after landing on a teammate's foot, and balance was restored to the universe.

The universe is a jerk, by the way. It couldn't just let Wizards fans have that amazing block by Bradley Beal. No, it had to then claim Beal, and in the process unnecessarily scare the living daylights out of us.

It sounds like Beal has avoided major injury, but his grimacing reaction while laying on the baseline, coupled with the fact that he landed in a way that it wasn't initially clear on the broadcast how he'd been injured, made Wizards fans fear the worst. Subsequent replays from a better angle showed Beal tweaked his ankle while landing on a teammate's foot, which almost always means a sprain. Of course, sprains could keep a player out for weeks, or no time at all.

Remember, we all feared Beal would miss substantial time with a sprain to the same ankle earlier in the season, and he played the next game like the injury had never happened. I certainly wouldn't expect that this time, as ankle sprains usually mean some time on the sideline.

Anyway, Beal's chasedown block of Jameer Nelson resulted in a lead-changing three from Trevor Ariza, and ultimately sent the Wiz home with a 105-101 overtime victory. A loss to the lowly Magic would have been devastating to Washington, which is currently jostling for playoff position with the Bobcats, Nets and Bulls. The Wizards are tied with the Nets at 14 games back of the conference-leading Pacers, but are currently seeded sixth by virtue of their winning percentage (.523) being one one-thousandth of a percentage lower than Brooklyn's (.524). Needless to say, tonight's game against the Nets is super-duper-mega huge.

As for the Magic game, the starters really came to play. John Wall struggled with his shot for most of the game but caught fire towards the end of the fourth quarter and in overtime, finishing with 21 points, 11 assists and just three turnovers. Beal tallied 20 points, while Marcin Gortat (19 points, 14 rebounds), Trevor Ariza (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Trevor Booker (11 points, 11 rebounds) all notched double-doubles. The bench, meanwhile, wasn't of much help. Six reserves played for Washington, but only combined to score 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting.

KEY LINKS

Road team recaps: BF StoryStream | Washington Post (gamersidebar) | AP | CSN Washington (recapsidebar) | Wiz of AwesWizards.comMonumental Network

Home team recaps: Orlando Pinstriped PostOrlando Sentinel | OrlandoMagic.com (recappostgame notes)

Game highlights

More on Beal's game-saving block (The replay includes the call by Orlando's broadcast team; it's kind of cool to hear the shift in tone between Nelson's breakaway, Beal's block, and Ariza's three)

Postgame interviews: Randy WittmanBradley BealJohn WallTrevor ArizaMarcin Gortat

KEY STATS

92 - Combined points scored by the Wizards' starting lineup against the Magic. Again, starters got it done last night.

29 - Free throws attempted by the Wizards against the Magic, who only got 10 freebies themselves.

1 - Teams in the NBA with a better record on the road than at home. Yep, your Washington Wizards, who are 18-15 on the road, and 16-16 at home. (H/T NBA.com)

TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT

No contest... (H/T Amin)

But this deserves an honorable mention.

GAMETHREAD ECSTACY COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

Gt_comment

GAMETHREAD DISMAY COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

Gt_comment

GAME RECAP RELIEF/MIKE WET BLANKET COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

Mike Prada

Too early to tell on that front, this was just an early diagnosis

GAMETHREAD ROLLCALL

# Commenter # Comments
1 qthaballa 120
2 Hands11 90
3 elliotlevy2 82
4 HailSkinz 78
5 TheBackCourt 50
6 BealMVP4ever 45
7 Wall_Hopeful 41
8 lobster11 32
9 WizKid27 31
10 LRJ 29
11 Newjamarcus 27
12 hambonejackson 25
13 DCKRS 24
14 arian1123 24
15 NewCavsfan 22
16 richkam14 21
17 RCpige 15
18 Inside Job 11
19 The Hoops Guru 9
20 John Wall Stan 9
21 lou.lucas.7 8
22 Craig_ 8
23 wad0cash 8
24 Gators2015_BB3 7
25 Born of Osiris 6
26 novadada 6
27 imperialme 4
28 nichobert-captcha-issue 4
29 ATrueNigerian 4
30 spanishfalcon 3
31 KurisuDevil 3
32 Yeti60 3
33 DCUniverse 2
34 jazzy1 2
35 satchmore 2
36 hotplate 1
37 PolishHammer 1
38 Palace of Good Play's Golden Toilet 1
39 almacy 1
40 HijackedD 1
41 t0Shihiro 1
42 DCON88 1
43 g_andal16 1
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Join Bullets Forever

You must be a member of Bullets Forever to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bullets Forever. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker