Led by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, the Wizards staged a spirited comeback to beat LeBron James and the Lakers.
It was a game of runs, and the Wizards were able to time theirs right and come away with a clutch win. Any team with the NBA’s highest scorer is bound to be a problem in clutch.
But the Wizards were extra special last night, clamping LeBron James in the final quarter. Rui Hachimura did an admirable job of keeping James restricted to shots from the perimeter and errant, panic-stricken passes.
The Lakers wasted one particular possession in overtime with James standing around at the corner and then getting double-teamed. He tried to pass his way out of trouble, but it was a bad one. It struck Caruso on the arm and went out of bounds for his 8th turnover of the night.
LeBron James gives Russell Westbrook a free and-1 layup
If the Wizards were bad at managing their timeouts, the Lakers were downright pathetic offensively in the crucial periods. They deserved the L on the night, but may have avoided it if not for this inexcusable slip.
The Wizards were only up 1 point with 14 seconds left on the game clock. Russell Westbrook was inbounding the ball, with his options being Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans, Garrison Matthews and Rui Hachimura.
Westbrook managed to find Bertans, but Caruso inexplicably opted not to foul. This allowed the Brody to cut inside, receive a pass from the Latvian and hit the and-one layup after LeBron James half-heartedly attempted to stop his progress.
RUSS AND-1! 😤 pic.twitter.com/WE6jnL0DkV
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 23, 2021
If Westbrook had knocked down his free throw attempt, the Lakers would have had no way back in the game. They were clanking nearly all of their long-range looks late in the game. Kyle Kuzma and LeBron James threw up some garbage shots at the end to win it.