The Washington Wizards showed great energy in the fourth quarter to surge past the Orlando Magic with a buzzer beating tip in by Bradley Beal to seal the deal. The Amway Center hosted a great game as both teams went back and forth making clutch shots. Eventually, John Wall put the team on his back leaving it all on the court. Beal was able to pick up what Wall left and lifted the Wizards to a 91-89 buzzer-beating win.
ICYMI: With :0.8 left in game, Wizards and Bradley Beal were able to inbound ball AND get shot off to beat Magic. » http://t.co/ebW75BShia
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 11, 2014
The Wizards and Magic both played smart, clean basketball during the first quarter of play. The Wizards committed just three team fouls and the Magic only one. Both teams also only committed just three turnovers each. John Wall showed his smooth passing skills yet again by recording five assists in the first quarter. The Wizards held a slight 26-21 lead during a very fluid first quarter.
The Wizards continued to play great team basketball in the second quarter. However, a few defensive miscues helped the Magic get easy lay-ups and come within one. The Wizards dished out a total of 15 assists, but seemed conservative on offense, waiting for the plays to make themselves happen. The Magic played sharp basketball, allowing zero turnovers compared to four by the Wizards in the second quarter which helped the Magic only trail 45-44 after the first half.
The defensive miscues continued through the third quarter and led to the Magic making easy drives and open three’s. The Magic converted four three point field goals which ignited their third quarter offensive spark. The Wizards all around played sluggish in the third quarter and allowed the Magic to take advantage with their quick and elusive guards. The Magic ended up pulling away to a 75-67 lead heading to the fourth quarter.
The Wizards rallied behind their man in the fourth quarter, John Wall. Wall provided the all-around spark the Wizards needed to stay competitive. He made aggressive offensive and defensive plays, taking charges and delivering in the clutch. The defense was much improved as they held the Magic to just 14 points in the fourth quarter.
A perfected screen play with just 0.8 seconds left sent the Wizards rushing off the court in jubilance! Andre Miller threw a perfect pass over the Magic’s seven-foot center Dewayne Dedmon to give Beal a jump ball chance. Beal came throw in the clutch, jumping just inches over Magic guard Victor Oladipo to deliver the game ending alley-oop from Miller.
The Magic showed a great team effort especially from its young stars. Oladipo led the team with 17 points, Tobias Harris had 15 points making 64% of his shots, and the rookie Elfrid Payton provided 12 points off the bench. The Magic had a strong showing from behind the arc converting seven three-pointers.
Topper’s Top Player: John Wall. Wall showed yet again that he is one of the most prolific passers in the game finishing with 10 or more assists for his sixth straight game. Wall came through in the clutch when his team needed him in the fourth quarter which ended up allowing his team to come through and win the game. Wall shot 59% from the field and had a game high 21 points.
The Wizards record improves to 15-6 and are currently in third place in the Eastern Conference. Randy Wittman’s team will travel back home to the Verizon Center for a key Western Conference matchup against the Clippers on Friday night.
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