Little-used Booker wills Wizards to victory

Little-used Booker wills Wizards to victory
March 13, 2013, 10:45 pm
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Wizards-Bucks highlights

Playing time has been hard to come by for Trevor Booker, but the Wizards forward came up big for them Wednesday.

They’d blown a 20-point lead to the Milwaukee Bucks and trailed by three entering the fourth quarter. 

Booker, who played 22 minutes off the bench, came through for coach Randy Wittman. He was one of three Wizards players to register double-doubles.

“I really didn't know. Some games I was playing. Some games I wasn't playing,” said Booker, who had 13 points on 4-for-5 shooting and 12 rebounds. “I just try to stay ready. He called my name tonight and I had a pretty good game.”

Booker scored nine of his points in the fourth quarter, when the Wizards outscored the Bucks 31-15 to pull out a 106-93 victory. John Wall had team highs of 23 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Nene contributed 13 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and three steals. 

It was Booker’s three-point play, however, that helped the Wizards regain a 80-78 lead that they’d never lose.

“We really didn't panic. In the past we definitely panicked,” Booker said. “We actually stayed calm this time. It was something new for me because we actually stayed calm. That’s a good sign for us.”

The Wizards (21-42) have won eight of their last 11 home games and beat a playoff-caliber team in Milwaukee (32-31). 

They also played without backup point guard A.J. Price (groin) and starting shooting guard Bradley Beal (left ankle) for the fifth consecutive game.

“That’s what happens sometimes when you’re short-handed, find ways to win,” said Trevor Ariza, who was bothered by a sore left knee but scored 14 points off the bench. “You always want to try to pick up what the other people do.”

Martell Webster kept his hot shooting alive. He went 7-for-14 for 20 points, including 4-for-7 from three-point range. He got the Wizards off to a fast start by scoring 13 points in the first quarter, but was impressed with how Booker help seal it. 

“Book wore his heart on his sleeve tonight and he came out and performed, which is the important thing,” Webster said.