Wizards win 116-107 over Lakers as Westbrook chases history repost
Late in the third quarter, Washington Wizards guard Raul Neto grabbed a rebound, pushed the ball up the court, and found guard Bradley Beal in the corner for a 3-pointer to put the Wizards up 84-69 and cap off a 15-2 run.
Beal put his hands in the air and sprinted over to high-five teammate Russell Westbrook. Beal’s 27 points and Westbrook’s 30th triple-double of the year pushed the Wizards past the Los Angeles Lakers, 116-107, Wednesday.
It was a bounce-back victory after their eight-game win streak was snapped Monday by the San Antonio Spurs.
“[We] got a win against one of the best teams in the league,” head coach Scott Brooks said.
The Wizards were up 69-67 with 7:20 left in the third quarter, entering an important stretch that helped decide the contest.
Kyle Kuzma took a 25-foot step-back 3-pointer that would have given the Lakers the lead. His attempt missed off the front of the rim. Westbrook, who grabbed the rebound in transition, found Neto on the wing, and Neto converted his 3-pointer to go up 72-67. On the next possession, off of a Westbrook assist, center Alex Len’s 6-foot hook shot put the Wizards up 74-67. After a Lakers two-point basket by center, Andre Drummond cut the lead 74-69. Westbrook answered with a 14-foot pullup jumper to make the score 76-69.
Westbrook and Len would team up again off a Westbrook defensive rebound. Westbrook pushed in transition and found Len who was fouled on a two-point shot and finished the three-point play to give the Wizards their first double-digit lead of the game 79-69. Len finished the game with 18 points and nine rebounds.
“[Alex] minutes changed the game. His minutes won the game. I’m happy for him,” Brooks said.
Beal’s 3-point jumper from the corner late in the third quarter made the score 84-69 and forced a Lakers timeout capping off the 15-2 run for the Wizards. The Wizards ended up with a 90-77 lead going into the fourth quarter now in control of the game.
“We were contesting; we were rebounding and we were getting out in transition,” Brooks said.
Westbrook early in the fourth quarter got his 30th triple-double off a nice feed to center Daniel Gafford who made a finger roll layup. Westbrook, now with 176 triple-doubles in his career, is only five triple-doubles away from tying Oscar Robertson’s mark for most all-time.
“Just being in a conversation with guys like Oscar is a blessing in itself. I’m super honored to be able to have something like that in reach,” Westbrook said.
Later on in the fourth quarter, Westbrook got another defensive rebound and found guard Ish Smith for a transition dunk to put the Wizards up 98-79 and force another Lakers timeout getting the Wizards bench up in excitement as Westbrook put his arms up towards the crowd to celebrate.
“I appreciate their support coming out and cheering with COVID-19 still going on,” Westbrook said. “Just happy to have [the fans] in the building.”
Lakers forward Anthony Davis who finished the game with 26 points, cut the lead to nine with a 3-pointer to make the score 107-98 late in the fourth quarter.
But the Wizards two stars, Westbrook and Beal, answered any attempt by the Lakers to get back into the game. Westbrook converted a driving layup and drew a foul, despite missing the free throw, his layup put the Wizards up 109-98. Beal’s 27-foot step back 3-pointer on the next possession made it 112-98 to put the finishing touches on an important win for the Wizards.
With a Chicago Bulls loss tonight to the New York Knicks. The Wizards now have a two-game lead on the Bulls for the last spot in the play-in tournament with just 10 games to go in the regular season.
“Every team is fighting for their playoff lives or playoff position, but we’re just going to go out there and compete game in and game out,” Brooks said.