Magical Pixels, Wizards vs. Nets: Good(e)ness, Drew Gooden

Rob Carr

Seriously folks, Drew Gooden.

What is it with the Wizards and 10-day contracts? It seems every time Washington signs an NBA journeyman or D-Leaguer to a 10-day deal, fans roll their eyes, and end up eating crow within the week.

Well, you can add Drew Gooden (Greaten?) to the list of supposed scrubs that have left Wizards fans pleasantly surprised, and pining for more. John Wall may have led the Wizards with 33 points (10-of-15 shooting, 4-of-6 from three) and capped last night's 101-94 comeback win with an emphatic runaway slam with 28.9 seconds remaining in the game, but this was the Drew Gooden Show (make sure to check out Satchel's excellent feature on Gooden from this morning).

Gooden scored 11 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter. In 26 minutes off the bench, he shot 8-for-11, grabbed nine rebounds and (small sample size alert) recorded a team-high plus-17. Most of his buckets were long jumpers, and the crowd erupted louder with each one he drained.

How amazing was Gooden? He had Aaron freaking Rodgers tweeting about it after the game (see below).

The Real Uncle Drew's heroics ended overshadowing the fact Bradley Beal played the day after suffering an ankle sprain that initially looked like it could have been season-ending. Not only did Beal play, but he played well, finishing with 15 points and five assists, and combining with Wall to keep the Wizards within striking distance after the first half.

In the end, this was one the team's better wins of the season, and probably its most important. The Wizards and Nets entered the game virtually tied in the standings, but Brooklyn was seeded fifth by virtue of its winning percentage being one one-thousandth higher than Washington's. So not only did the win give the Wizards the fifth seed and knock the Nets into sixth place, but it also gave Washington the tiebreaker over Brooklyn, meaning the Wizards are effectively two games ahead of the Nets now (as Mike explained this morning).

The Nets are now 31-2 on the season when leading after three quarters. Both of those losses? Against the Wizards (see tweet below). Pretty cool. The Wiz now face a four-game West Coast road trip, beginning Tuesday night with a should-win against the Kings. They then face the Trail Blazers, Lakers and Nuggets. Need to go 3-1 at least in order to keep pace in the East.

Oh, and the team's magic number for a playoff berth? Seven more wins, with 16 games to play. Let's gooooooooo.

KEY LINKS

Road team recaps: BF StoryStreamWashington PostAP | CSN Washington (recapsidebar) | Wiz of AwesDC Pro Sports ReportWizards.comMonumental Network

Home team recaps: NetsDailyNew York Daily News | ESPN New York (recapnotes) | The Brooklyn Game (recapgrades) | The RecordNewsday

Game highlights

Postgame interviews: Randy WittmanJohn WallDrew GoodenBradley BealTrevor Ariza

KEY STATS

73 - Drew Gooden's shooting percentage (8-for-11) against the Nets.

60 - Washington's shooting percentage in the fourth quarter Saturday night. Entering the fourth, the Wizards and Nets were shooting 42.1 and 52.7 percent, respectively. But the Wizards caught fire while the Nets went only 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) in the fourth. By game's end, the Wizards had shot 46.8 percent, while the Nets finished at 47.9 percent.

4 - Washington's rebounding advantage (39-35) against Brooklyn. The Nets are a bad rebounding team, so the Wizards should have had the advantage anyway, but they entered the fourth quarter being outrebounded by the Nets, 28-25. But the doubled up Brooklyn on the boards in the fourth, 14-7, en route to the win.

TWEETS OF THE NIGHT

VIDEO/GIF OF THE NIGHT

Oh man, so many great ones, like these end-game GIFs courtesy of Inside Job...

There's the video of Wall's 33-point night, courtesy of the immaculate Dawk Ins...

Then there was the star of the night...

And finally, the crowd at Verizon. I've only been to a handful of games this season, but this was by far the loudest I'd heard the place. As in, legit goosebumps, guys. It's time to remind everyone D.C. is, first and foremost, a basketball town. (H/T @HoopDistrictDC)

GAMETHREAD RECAP COMMENT OF THE NIGHT

Alright, the Recap comments got way more rec's than in the Gamethread, so we'll go with those again. This comment was the top vote-getter...

Gt_comment

But this being a Gooden-themed edition of Pixels, this was my personal favorite.

Gt_comment

GAMETHREAD ROLLCALL

# Commenter # Comments
1 Michimore Wizskins 108
2 qthaballa 87
3 Hands11 69
4 HailSkinz 67
5 lobster11 57
6 Wall_Hopeful 51
7 LRJ 43
8 BealMVP4ever 37
9 DCKRS 32
10 elliotlevy2 28
11 TheBackCourt 20
12 KurisuDevil 15
13 Gators2015_BB3 13
14 Inside Job 11
15 John Wall Stan 10
16 Baird15 7
17 Craig_ 6
18 _Chris 6
19 abala 6
20 richkam14 6
21 jazzy1 5
22 Big Spoon 5
23 jarem 5
24 ATrueNigerian 4
25 jaffejoe 4
26 Asdesas 3
27 K-StreetLobbyist 3
28 perroandaluz 2
29 KappakidToo 2
30 Seat pleasant 2
31 MC-Sneaks 2
32 The GIF Oracle 2
33 Verycooldude9 2
34 Nubboi 2
35 little stevie colter 2
36 Shawn-Paul Muth 1
37 dave21110 1
38 Wolfram-DK 1
39 RCpige 1
40 joshuagrice 1
41 Alvin Q 1
42 arian1123 1
43 khrabb 1
44 DapperDistrict 1
45 spanishfalcon 1
46 Le Bullet 1
47 Bradley_B3al 1
48 wizardsfan13 1
49 Aldo 1
50 Hoosiercoach 1
51 ZonkerBL 1
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