The Wizards-Raptors game on Thursday night was supposed to take a backseat to the games on TNT. But the battle between two Eastern Conference playoff teams who both might snag home-court in the first round turned into a doozy that had TNT switching over during the Heat-Knicks blowout. In the end, Marcin Gortat and John Wall led the Wizards past DeMar DeRozan, Greivis Vasquez and the Raptors.
First things first, Wiz big man Marcin Gortat â€” perhaps sensing he has to step up in Nene‘s absence â€” set a career high when he dropped 31 points to go with 12 boards. He also hit the game-tying shot with five-seconds left to force the first overtime.
But it was the John Wall show in the overtime sessions. In the first OT period, Washington didn’t hit a field goal for the first three minutes, only a pair of Bradley Beal free throws kept them within striking distance. With two minutes left, Wall got in the lane â€” this will be a popular refrain from here on out â€” for the layup plus the foul.
But he wasn’t done in the first OT, not even a little. Wall followed up that three-point-play with a game-tying layup with 23 seconds remaining. Watch as he leaves DeMar DeRozan in concrete during this dribble hesitation move on the wing.
But that wasn’t even the end of Wall’s reign in the first overtime, so find out what happened next…
After Wall’s game-tying bucket, there was still 23.3 seconds left on the clock for the Raptors to win in the first OT. Vasquez spent the first 21 seconds dribbling at the top of the key so the Raptors could get the last shot and not leave any time for Washington to come back in the first OT session. But the ball got poked away from him with 2.5 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds, Kyle Lowry caught the ball on the move and went in for what would have been the game-winning layup. Except, John Wall wasn’t going to let that happen:
Wall still wasn’t done, though. In the third overtime, with the Wiz ahead by 2 points and under 40 seconds left, Wall again had the ball at the top of the key. They spread the floor and Trevor Brooker came up to the three-point line to set a screen for Wall. Tyler Hansbrough had to switch onto Wall when John Salmons got tangled with Booker. Wall was smart and reset the play with just Hansbrough on an island against possibly the fastest player in the league. A crossover, a hesitation and a layup later, and the Wiz were up by four with less than 30 seconds to play in the third OT.
Game, set, match Washington, with John Wall to thank.
What was your favorite moment from last night’s 3 OT classic?
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