By Dave Johnson
We are down to the Washington Wizards version of the final four. Number four on our top 10 list of best games from the 2012/2013 season is from January 18 when the Wizards dramatically stunned the Nuggets in Denver.
John Wall was less than a week into his season when he helped seal the victory on both offense and defense. Wall finished the season with many jaw-dropping blocked shots, but perhaps none more decisive than his denial of Ty Lawson in the game’s closing seconds. It was also another chapter in the burgeoning Wall/Bradley Beal relationship.
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Audio montage of win over Nuggets in Denver:
My game recap from that night:
After the Washington Wizards stunned the Nuggets in Denver for a 112-108 win Bradley Beal, who led the team in scoring with 23 points, called John Wall his partner in crime. The Wizards are hoping their crime wave continues tonight in Los Angeles against the Clippers.
Fresh off the sting of their 95-94 loss in Sacramento, the Wizards responded by winning in Denver for the first time since December of 2005. It ended a five-game road losing streak in Denver and it was only the Nuggets third home loss of the season.
Wall, who was frustrated by missing two free throws late in the one-point loss to the Kings, made sure the Wizards did not let the Nuggets’ game slip from their grasp. With the Wizards leading 110-108 Wall blocked Ty Lawson's driving layup attempt with 2.7 seconds left and then scored the game’s final two points from the free throw line.
For the second consecutive game Wall came off the bench to deliver a double-double with 14 points, 12 assists and two blocked shots in 25 minutes on the court. Lawson led the Nuggets with a game-high 29 points. He had 23 of those points in the third quarter when the Nuggets built a ten-point lead.
Down 87-80 to start the fourth quarter, the Wizards stormed out on a 12-0 run in 2:24 to take a 92-87 lead and then never trailed again. In that surge Kevin Seraphin scored four points and had a steal that led to a three-pointer by Jordan Crawford. Seraphin scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter including a put-back of a Trevor Ariza miss to make it 108-104 with 28.9 seconds left in the game.
Beal is averaging 20.8 points per game on 61.7 percent shooting (37-60) over the last five games.
The Wizards won because:
It is worth noting that the Wizards shot over 50 percent (51.3) from the field for only the second time this season, but their secret to success Friday in Denver is linked to rebounding. The Wizards out rebounded the Nuggets 45-34. Five Wizards had at least five rebounds led by Trevor Booker with 8. The Nuggets average 45 rebounds per-game and only had 9 offensive rebounds.
“I know we are 8-29 but I think we are at 16, 17, 18 games with seven points or less, five overtimes and two double overtimes. This is a team that, with all of our injuries, we have a lot of guys that weren’t in a position to have to win games at the end. I think we have learned a lot of that and now getting our guys back healthy, only adds to that.”