By Lewis Gould
Bradley Beal and Westbrook hit 3-pointers in a wild 3.8-second sequence in the final seconds to help the Wizards stun Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets 149-146.
Westbrook had 41 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists, and NBA scoring leader Beal had 37 points. In the fourth quarter, Beal had 22 points and Westbrook had 15. Durant, second in the NBA in scoring, also had 37 points.
“Russell willed this game,” Brooks said about Westbrook, who has only played in 10 of 16 games due to a quad injury. “This is what he does. He can do it every night. He doesn’t shoot the ball well every night but he doesn’t take nights out.”
With Washington down 146-141, Beal hit a 3-pointer with 8.1 seconds left. Garrison Matthews deflected Joe Harris’ inbounds pass to Westbrook and he made a 3 with 4.3 seconds left for a 147-146 lead.
“It was a dumb mistake on my part,” Harris said about the inbounds pass that led to the go-ahead basket.
It was epic collapse from a team hoping to contend for an NBA title but the Nets did get a great look to force overtime.
Kyrie Irving found Timothe Luwawu-Carbarrot under the basket with 2.9 seconds left, but his layup attempt spun around the rim and failed to drop. Beal added two free throws with 0.7 seconds left as the Wizards broke a four-game losing streak and improved to a still NBA-worst 4-12.
“I couldn’t guard a stick today,” Irving said. “They were going right around me, and I was getting frustrated, but they kept attacking.”
Harris scored a career-high 30 points, and Irving had 26 for Brooklyn which led by as many as 18. The Nets had won four in a row.
James Harden sat out because of a thigh contusion, the first game he has missed since being traded from Houston to Brooklyn on Jan. 13.
“It’s not looking great defensively for our team, giving up that many points,” Durant said after Washington shot 51.9% for the game.
Westbrook has set season scoring highs in consecutive games. He entered the game averaging 18.9 points, his lowest output since his second season in 2009-10.
“That’s part of leadership,” Westbrook said about playing hard every time out on the court. “It’s a part of my responsibility as a leader to bring it every single night. I take pride in that because I don’t think that everybody does that in sports.”
The Wizards are 1-4 since resuming play after a 13-day layoff that included six postponements due to COVID-19 related issues.