Beal scores off lob pass at buzzer, lifts Wizards over Magic
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Washington Wizards started the game passing brilliantly against the Orlando Magic so it was only fitting that they won it with a dazzling last-second lob.
Bradley Beal converted the lob pass at the buzzer to lift the Wizards to a 91-89 victory over the Magic on Wednesday night.
The Washington Wizards started the game passing brilliantly against the Orlando Magic so it was only fitting that they won it with a dazzling last-second lob.
Washington had assists on 13 of its first 15 field goals and finished with 26 assists on 41 made baskets, including the pass from Andre Miller to Beal in the final 0.8 seconds of the game.
John Wall led the Wizards with 21 points and 11 assists, Nene scored 12 points, Kris Humphries had 11 and Marcin Gortat 10 for the Wizards, who got at least one assist from eight of the 10 players who appeared in the game.
"When we play that way, it makes it hard for the other team," Washington coach Randy Wittman said after the Wizards beat the Magic for the seventh straight time. "If we're getting 10 or 12 assists, we're going to get beat every time. We move bodies, we move the ball and we don't worry about who's getting shots. Normally we have guys on the floor who can score."
Miller delivered the game-winning assist, throwing the ball perfectly at the rim as Beal looped around the Magic defense and outjumped Victor Oladipo to grab the ball and lay it in as the buzzer sounded.
Beal's basket completed a 7-0 run by the Wizards in the final 55 seconds of the game to wipe out an 89-84 deficit.
"I really didn't even see Andre throw the ball," said Beal, who had seven points in the first quarter but didn't score again until the final-second layup. "We do end of-game situations like that all the time and they're not just silly plays in practice, they actually win games."
Oladipo scored 17 points and Tobias Harris had 15 to lead the Magic, who were coming off road wins at Utah and Sacramento. Rookie Ellfrid Payton added 12 points and Channing Frye and Kyle O'Quinn 10 each.
"It boils down to one play," Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said. "They had a lot of options on the last play of the game and you don't take any possession for granted."
Beal's basket came right after Oladipo missed a 20-foot jumper with the score tied at 89.
Both teams shot only nine free throws, marking the first time this season both teams shot fewer than 10 free throws in a game.
The Magic led 89-84 after a Harris dunk with 1:37 left in the game, but couldn't score again.
Wall scored on a pair of driving layups and Rasual Butler knocked down a free throw with 16 seconds left to tie the score at 89.
The Magic trailed 45-44 at halftime, but knocked down 12 of 17 shots in the third quarter, including four of five 3-pointers, to take a 75-67 lead into the fourth quarter.
Wizards: Nene returned to the lineup after missing Monday's double-overtime win over Boston with a sore knee. ... Washington is 12-0 when holding teams under 100 points this season. ... Paul Pierce, who was shooting 51.1 percent (55-109) in his last nine games, hit only 3 of 10 against the Magic.
Magic: C Nikola Vucevic, the team's rebounder, missed his fifth straight game with a back sprain. ... F Tobias Harris came into the season a career 28-percent shooter on 3-pointers. He's shooting 43.4 (percent (23 of 53) this season. ... SG Evan Fournier hit his only 3-point attempt of the game to extend his streak to 29 straight games with a 3. That is the longest active streak in the NBA.
Wizards: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
Magic: At Atlanta on Friday.
THE FINAL PLAY
Miller said he knew what to do as soon the Magic stationed their best shot blocker, center Dewayne Dedmon, in front of him to defend the inbounds pass on the final play of the game.
"I knew I had to throw the ball to the basket," Miller said. "If he (Dedmon) had been under the basket, I probably would have called timeout."
As it was, Miller lobbed it over Dedmon and the rest of the Magic defense, hitting Beal for a layup at the rim to win the game.
"I'm sure every team has a play like that, where you motion around and then somebody goes to the rim," Miller said. "Usually it's a big man, but toniight Bradley made a good catch and finished it."