Wizards pull away in OT win over Bucks
This was the kind of game the Wizards probably would've lost earlier this season.
They overcame 35 percent shooting in the fourth quarter, tied the score in the last minute on a falling three-pointer from Martell Webster, took the lead and then gutted out five extra minutes in overtime after O.J. Mayo tied the score at 87 with a three.
Marcin Gortat was dominant on both ends in the extra period, and after his layup gave the Wizards (7-8) a 93-90 lead, he snatched a rebound that led to a back-breaking three-pointer by Trevor Ariza.
It was the Wizards' fourth overtime game. They're 2-2 this season in the extra frame. They won for the fifth time in six games, this one after gutting out a 116-111 win Tuesday vs. the Los Angeles Lakers. Milwaukee (2-12) lost its 10th in a row.
The Bucks opened with an 11-2 run but it didn't last long. Gortat made the Wizards' first three field goals and Martell Webster tied it at 11 with a three-pointer.
Their first lead came when John Wall ran a fast break and threw what appeared to be an errant lob to Jan Vesely, who corralled it for the dunk at 15-14.
Unfortunately for the Wizards, their defense wasn't up to par as they allowed the Bucks to shoot 56 percent in the first half, including 4 of 9 on three-point shots.
The third quarter started slow for both teams. It took almost three minutes for Washington to get its first field goal on a runner by Wall.
Wall made three 3-pointers in the third quarter, the last one giving his team a 69-66 lead with less than two minutes left. He had 15 points going into the fourth, 13 coming in the third.
They led 78-71 and appeared headed to an easy victory, but the Bucks went on a 9-0 run to regain the lead. The Wizards had four turnovers in a two-minute span, two by reserve Garrett Temple, one by Vesely and one by Ariza.
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Wall finished with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting, six assists and five steals. Ariza had 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting, three assists and three steals. Webster had 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting, including 4 of 11 on three-pointers.
Turning point: Webster drilled a three-pointer with 57 seconds left in the game to wake up a stagnant offense, and Ariza had a steal and a layup as the Wizards, who were playing on the back end of a back-to-back, woke up entering the extra period.
Best in show: Gortat. A night after Nene had a career-high of 30 points, it was Gortat's turn to carry the load. He made his first nine shots, finished with a game-high 25 points on 11-for-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds. He scored six points in overtime. It was the best shooting performance by a Wizards player with at least 10 attempts since Chris Webber in 1996.
On tap: Nene only had nine points on 2-for-6 shooting, but with the Wizards up 96-92 he had two offensive rebounds -- the first a tap out of a missed three-pointer by Webster and the second a clean grab of a miss by Wall -- that allowed his team to milk the clock. The possession ended with Gortat making two free throws to ice the outcome. They led 98-92 with 26 seconds left.
Back in: Kevin Seraphin, who hadn't played in four of the previous five games, made an appearance late in the first quarter. He finished with just two points on 1 of 2 shooting in seven minutes. More importantly, he didn't commit any turnovers.
DNP: Rookie Glen Rice and Trevor Booker were active but didn't play. Al Harrington (right knee) still was inactive.
Around the bend: The Wizards are off Thursday. They'll play at the Indiana Pacers on Friday (CSN, 8 p.m. ET)