Beal lifts Wizards over Thunder

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 07, 2013
Bradley Beal made a jumper with 0.3 seconds left after using a pump fake to get open, and the short-handed Washington Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 101-99 Monday night. Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City (26-8) with 29 points. The Wizards (5-28), playing without their top two scorers, had lost 13 of their previous 14, but they also beat the Miami Heat earlier in the season. Beal and Martell Webster led the Washington with 22 points each. Kevin Seraphin added 19 points, and Emeka Okafor had 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Thunder missed 16 straight shots from midway through the third quarter to midway through the fourth quarter. Durant drove through the lane for a thunderous dunk to cut Oklahoma City's deficit to 95-94 with just more than two minutes left. Martell Webster answered with a four-point play to give the Wizards a 99-94 lead. Then, Ibaka made a jumper, and Durant made a 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to tie the game at 99. Durant and Russell Westbrook each scored 20 points in Oklahoma City's last five games, but Westbrook finished with just 17 points Monday. Serge Ibaka stepped up as Durant's complement, scoring 26 points. Nene (right knee tendinitis) and Jordan Crawford (sore left ankle) missed the game with injuries. Nene has played just 20 games this season while dealing with a foot problem (plantar fasciitis), but he had played in the Wizards' previous eight contests. He's averaging 12.9 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Crawford is averaging 15.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds per game. With John Wall, Trevor Booker and Cartier Martin also out, Washington had just nine players available. Beal made a four-point play to end the third quarter, and that began an 8-0 Washington run. The Wizards weren't completely short-handed. Trevor Ariza, who missed the last 17 games with a left calf strain, returned. He limped noticeably after dunking in the second quarter, but he remained in the game. A.J. Price also returned Monday after missing 15 games with a broken right hand. NOTES: The Wizards waived Shelvin Mack on Monday. In seven games, he averaged 5.3 points. ... Thunder coach Scott Brooks said he hasn't spoken with Durant about the forward's ejection during Oklahoma City's loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. ''You have to play your personality,'' Brooks said. ''You don't want to be a phony on the court, and Kevin's not. He's a nice young man that competes, competes fairly and competes the best way that he knows how to. I never complain about Kevin's passion.'' ... Four years ago, the Thunder started 3-29, even worse than Randy Wittman's Wizards to open this season. ''I know how Randy feels,'' Brooks said. ''It's not easy, because you don't see a lot of sunshine. But, they have good players that work hard, and eventually it turns around. ... Kevin Durant helps, also.'' ... The Wizards' 30 first-quarter points matched a season high for the opening period.
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