Dave Johnson: Wizards Snare Overtime Win

Dave Johnson: Wizards Snare Overtime Win
November 24, 2010, 3:26 am
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010 10:20 p.m.
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By Dave Johnson
CSNwashington.comWashington---In Sunday's overtime loss to the Detroit Pistons, the Wizards could not find a way to close. Against the Philadelphia 76ers the Wizards refused to quit and were able to navigate their way to an improbable 116-114 overtime win.Nick Young's three-pointer with 7.6 seconds left capped a wild night that saw the Wizards rally from a lethargic first half and a 17-point third quarter deficit. Young finished with 19 points off the bench, but the Wizards were led by John Wall who also came off the bench to score 25 points with 6 assists."I didn't want to let my teammates down, " Young said. "I was a little nervous but I always want to take that shot. I stayed before in warm-ups and it's crazy because I worked on that shot before warm-ups. I kept saying this is what would have happened in DetroitGil passed it to me and I was open, and I'm happy to knock my first game-winner down. "It was Wall who made the difference in the final minute and forced the extra session. In the game's final 60 seconds Wall scored 7 points including 5 free throws. Wall had missed the previous four games with a sprained left foot and missed his first six shot attempts, but seized control when it counted the most.The Wizards trailed 106-103 when Evan Turner, the second overall pick in the NBA draft, missed two free throws with eight seconds left in regulation. The Wizards snared the rebound and John Wall, the top overall pick in the NBA draft, raced up court and was able to bait Jrue Holiday into a foul on his shot attempt from near mid-court.After Wall's first free throw attempt flirted with going out, he swished the final two attempts to tie the game at 106. It had a dj-vu all over again feel. In the Wizards home opener, they defeated the Sixers 116-115 in overtime and only made it to overtime on a Cartier Martin three-pointer."John Wall gave us a great lift and made plays," said Wizards head coach Flip Saunders. "I think the one thing he does bring is that character of never quitting. He made a veteran move (at the end of regulation). He heard the whistle, threw it up, got three shots, and made all three in that type of situation. I say a lot of times one play can change the whole complexion of the game and you never know when that one play is going to happen. "It was an incredible journey for the Wizards. They were flat in the first half and trailed 52-38 at the break. To the Wizards credit they responded by scoring 35 points in the third quarter when Young had 11 of his points.Bringing energy from the start JaVale McGee set career high in rebounds for the second consecutive game. Against the Pistons McGee grabbed 16 rebounds, but against the Sixers he finished with 18 rebounds to go with his 24 points and 4 blocked shots.With 3:32 left in the game, McGee was able to break free and take a Wall pass and finish with a slam dunk. In his effort to stop McGee, the Sixers Elton Brand committed a flagrant 2 foul and was ejected from the game. Despite an aching tail bone McGee made his free throw and cut the Sixers lead to six at 98-92.Brand's night ended in a bad way after the best of starts. Brand scored 11 of his 19 points in the first quarter when the Sixers showed signs of taking over. Andre Iguodala, returned from an Achilles injury, to lead seven Sixers in double figures with 23 points.McGee's three-point play gave the Wizards life and belief. It energized the crowd and the team. Trailing 104-101 the Wizards applied full court pressure and Trevor Booker was able to force a jump ball with the Sixers Andres Nocioni.Booker's hustle gave the Wizards an essential extra possession and Gilbert Arenas was able to draw a foul on a drive to the basket. Arenas made both free throws to make it a one-point game and make overtime a realistic possibility.The night was also about redemption. Young ended the night as the hero after missing a three-point attempt with 8.5 seconds left in regulation. Andray Blatche, who missed a potential game-winner against the Pistons, hit an 18-foot jump shot with 24 seconds left in overtime to give the Wizards a 113-112 lead."We're learning, we're getting better," Arenas noted. "JaVale is playing a lot better basketball than he was at the beginning, he's rebounding for us, he's blocking shots, he's understanding what his role is. Wall came and gave a great effort, playing on one leg, one foot, one knee, we needed that. Nick played a hell of a game. For us to be good he has to step up."