Bradley Beal scored a game-high 38 points as the Wizards climb back from a 15-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Kings in overtime, 130-122. John Wall also had a very impressive game with 25 points and 12 assists while Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 18 and 17 points respectively as the Wizards win in Sacramento for the first time since 2009.
Buddy Hield started the night 3-3 from the field in what looked like a sign of things to come as the rookie scored eight points in the blink of an eye. Washington on the other hand, hit a bit of a dry spell midway through the quarter and the Kings used it to their advantage getting out on a 12-4 run for an early 17-12 lead. The Wizards found their footing, at least on the offensive end, but Hield exploded for 13 points in the quarter as the Kings shot 56 percent from the field for a 32-28 lead after the first quarter.
The newly ramped up bench did their part in the second quarter, mainly in part due to Bogdanovic. Like we’ve become accustomed to, Bogdanovic provided instant offense but this time from close in as his three-pointers weren’t falling. Unfortunately for the Wizards, their defense was just as bad in the second quarter. The Wizards provided no resistance as the Kings got plenty of open looks as well as easy baskets around the rim. Washington gave up 36 points in the second quarter and found themselves down 12, 68-56 at halftime.
The Wizards started the second half on a quick 7-0 run with five straight points coming from Beal, but the Kings counterpunched. Led by Anthony Tolliver and Ben McLemore who combined for 18 points in the third quarter, the Kings were able to stretch the lead to 15 entering the fourth as things looked bleak for the Wizards.
Jason Smith led the charge for the Washington in the fourth quarter with a personal 7-0 run. Bradley Beal would hit threes on back-to-back possessions as the Wizards used a 17-4 run to tie the game at 107. The teams traded baskets down the stretch but Bradley Beal hit this tough step-back jumper to give the Wizards a two-point lead with 37.5 seconds to play.
Bradley Beal. Ice water in his veins. pic.twitter.com/0OpSfAWT1x— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) March 11, 2017
Wall had a chance to win this one in regulation but his shot rimmed out and we’d be going to overtime, all tied up at 116.
After four quick points from Bogdanovic to start the overtime period, John Wall drove to the lane, kicked it to Morris who found Beal in the corner for a wide open three to give Washington a 122-120 lead. And with the Wizards up 124-122, Wall and Morris ran their patented pick-and-roll resulting in a Morris alley-oop to give the Wizards a 126-122 lead.
Wizards like...we got that alley oop game too. pic.twitter.com/wPpTopLI8s— Hoop District (@HoopDistrictDC) March 11, 2017
Washington completes the comeback, wins 130-122.
The defense was optional in the first half
The Kings were on fire in the first half knocking down 51.1 percent of their shots as Washington didn’t provide much resistance. The Kings, who rank in the bottom third of the league in scoring, hung 68 points on Washington in the first half behind some hot shooting from three-point range as they were 8-12 from distance. The newly acquired Buddy Hield scored 18 points in the first half (7-10) including going 4-6 from three-point range as the Wizards had no answer for the rookie.
Beal shines late
Bradley Beal played well the entire game but picked the fourth quarter and overtime sessions to shine. Beal scored 21 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter and overtime periods to help aid the Wizards’ comeback. Beal had it all going late. He was knocking down threes, hitting shots in the mid-range, and attacking the rim.
Yes, Bradley Beal has been terrific this season but it’s nights like tonight that remind you; he’s earned that max deal.
The reserve frontcourt outshines their starting counterparts
The frontcourt of Jason Smith and Ian Mahinmi both outplayed their respective counterparts in Markieff Morris and Marcin Gortat. Mahinmi and Smith combined for 18 points and 13 rebounds while Morris and Gortat combined for 12 points and 15 rebounds. But it was Smith and Mahinmi who Brooks opted to go with the entire fourth quarter as the Wizards made their comeback.
Smith sparked the Wizards comeback with a personal 7-0 run in the fourth quarter while Mahinmi was there to gather offensive rebounds (3) for easy put-backs. The Washington frontcourt was a huge weakness at one point in the season, now it’s turning into one of their key strengths.