'Game of the year': NBA's worst team pulls miracle upset

Yahoo Sports Staff
·4-min read
Russell Westbrook hit a three in the final five seconds to steal victory from the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)
Russell Westbrook hit a three in the final five seconds to steal victory from the Brooklyn Nets. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

It took a wild rally in the final 10 seconds at Capital One Arena, but the Washington Wizards knocked off the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.

The Wizards, after Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal hit a pair of clutch 3-pointers in the span of about four seconds, upset the Nets 149-146.

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“This was one of the craziest if not the craziest game I’ve ever been around,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said, via The Athletic’s Fred Katz.

The Wizards, after starting the game out on the wrong side of a 23-9 run, rallied back and found themselves down just five points with just 10 seconds on the clock.

Beal, after bringing the ball up the court following a pair of Kyrie Irving free throws, expertly drilled a deep bucket from behind the arc to suddenly bring Washington within just two.

Then, as the Nets went to inbound the ball, Garrison Mathews came up with a huge steal and dished it to Westbrook — who sank a 3-pointer of his own to give them the lead.

The whole sequence took about four seconds. According to NumberFire, the Nets had a 97.95% chance of beating the Wizards after Irving’s free throws, too.

Though Mathews’ steal was a very clear error for the Nets, coach Steve Nash isn’t blaming that one play specifically. His team gave up nearly 150 points on Sunday night, and now has both the worst defensive rating in the league and what would be the worst defensive rating in NBA history if the season was over.

“It was just an error, and it happens, but when you give up 149 points, that’s one error in about 50 defensive lapses,” Nash said, via the YES Network.

“[We were] not good enough defensively. We can look at the missed layup or the turnover for the 3 there, but we shouldn’t have been in that position … They’re a desperate team looking for a win, and we gave them a chance and gave them life.”

Washington Wizards snatch unlikely NBA upset

Beal, after they came up with a stop, then sank a pair of free throws to seal the three-point win for Washington — which marked its first victory since Jan. 11, as the team has dealt with a massive COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined them for nearly two weeks.

Westbrook led the Wizards with a near triple-double, finishing with 41 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Beal wasn’t far behind with 37 points, 22 of which came in the fourth quarter.

“It wasn’t something I needed to see, per se, but I feel like our effort and the way we played was great,” Beal said, via Katz.

“It wasn’t just one guy who won us the game or two guys. It was a collective effort from everybody.”

Kevin Durant led the Nets with 37 points and seven rebounds while shooting 11-of-19 from the field in the loss, which snapped a four-game win streak. Joe Harris added 30 points, and Irving finished with 26 points and eight assists. They were without James Harden, who missed the game with a thigh contusion.

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