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NBA Wrap February 1st



IMAGE: ESPN



WESTBROOK, BEAL COMBINE FOR 78 AS WIZARDS STUN NETS


Down five with 12.3 seconds left, the Washington Wizards chances off conjuring a miraculous victory were faint.


Those hopes turned into pure ecstasy as the final buzzer sounded.


Russell Westbrook scored 41 points, along with 10 rebounds and 8 assists while Bradley Beal posted 37 and the Washington Wizards sunk two late threes to beat the Brooklyn Nets for the second time this season 149-146.


Kevin Durant returning from rest management led Brooklyn with 37 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists, and dead-eye sharpshooter Joe Harris scored a career-high 30 whilst draining eight triples.


Having fought from an early 18 point deficit, Washington began slicing away at the margin in the fourth only for Brooklyn to turn its superstars Durant and Irving to land critical jumpers to keep the Nets ahead.


Entering the last 30 seconds, Washington were down two and immediately fouled Jeff Green who spilt a pair of free throws to keep the Wizards alive. On the next possession though, Westbrook couldn’t get the tying three-pointer as Irving would be fouled.


Irving calmly hit both free throws to put Brooklyn ahead by five. With no timeouts, Washington went the full length of the court with Beal who instantly sunk a straight down triple to cut the margin to two.


Then that’s when chaos ensured. Joe Harris who gathered the ball was looking to find Durant, however there was a miscommunication between the pair and Garrison Matthews intercepted the pass before running back to the arc finding Westbrook who with no hesitation to complete the frenzy sinking a triple to give Washington the lead.


There was more drama to come. After calling a timeout, Brooklyn had planned to put the ball in Durant’s hands. However, Irving on the inbounds pass found a cutting Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot all alone at the rim missed the bunny layup as Washington completed a miracle comeback.


Brooklyn was playing without its third superstar James Harden due to a thigh contusion.


Offence was the main order of the contest, as Westbrook, Beal, Durant, Irving and Harris all started out on fire as the Nets raced out to a 31-13 lead before Washington began finding its radar going trimming Nets lead to ten at the end of one.


In other results around the Association:


The Philadelphia 76ers stormed home from a 20 point deficit late in the third to overrun the Indiana Pacers 119-110.


The consistent Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 27 points and 8 rebounds, while Aussie Ben Simmons put an all-round performance posting 21 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists winning its first game this season without superstar Joel Embiid because of back tightness.


Philadelphia’s comeback was on the back of creating unforced Indiana turnovers allowing them to get out quicker in transition. The second unit led by Furkan Korkmaz who landed two major jumpers late and 3-time Defensive Player of the Year Dwight Howard producing a productive 25 minutes with 11 points and 15 rebounds.


Malcolm Brogdon led Indiana with 25 points for his 9th 20 point game this season, and Domantas Sabonis had 21 points and 8 rebounds.


Kawhi Leonard led the way with 28 points as the Los Angeles Clippers closed out the last 7:44 of the contest on a 24-12 run to beat the New York Knicks 129-115.


Julius Randle who is in contention for his maiden All-Star selection led the Knickerbockers with 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Immanuel Quickley becoming a key piece off the bench scored 25.


Superstar Nikola Jokic equaled his career-high with 47 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists and the Denver Nuggets snapped the Utah Jazz’s 11 game winning streak 128-117.


Bojan Bogdanovic backing up his 32 point effort in the pasting off the Dallas Mavericks, led Utah with 29 points who got back Donovan Mitchell after missing two games with concussion.


Pascal Siakam had his third 30 point outing this season, with 30 points and 10 rebounds as the Toronto Raptors ended a three-game slide beating the Orlando Magic 115-102.


Rookie Cole Anthony top-scored for Orlando with 16 points and 6 assists who lost athletic high-flyer Aaron Gordon late in the third quarter after badly rolling his right ankle stepping onto the foot of Stanley Johnson.


Malik Beasley and Rookie Anthony Edwards in his second start each scored 23 as the Minnesota Timberwolves won its fifth game this season defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers 109-104.


Minnesota withstood a monster performance from the League’s leading-rebounder Andre Drummond who finished with 25 points and 22 rebounds for double-double number 17 this campaign.


By Juri Bilcich









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