Trailing by three with 41.3 seconds left, Thomas Bryant came up with a huge block following his two free throws. The Nuggets trapped Beal at the top of the circle, he kicked the ball over to a wide open Bryant. Thomas had time and attempted a three pointer off the right wing. The young center’s shot didn’t fall and the Wizards had to foul. Gary Harris was sent to the line with his team still up by three. Harris wound up missing both free throws, but made up for it by tracking down the rebound of his second miss. Had Washington secured the rebound, they would of had a chance to take the game to overtime. Instead Harris got a do over at the line and knocked them both down to give Denver the 113-108 win over Washington.
Denver’s balance was on full display in the win, eight of the nine players that received minutes against Washington scored in double-figures. Nikola Jokic led the way with 15 points and 11 assists. Four other players also scored 15 points, the Nuggets bench accounted for 40 points on the night as well. They’re a very deep team and they were able to respond to Washington runs regardless of who was on the court.
Bradley Beal led Washington with 25 points, Satoransky had 16 points and 10 assists. Thomas Bryant received his first start in nearly a month while Troy Brown Jr. started for the injured Trevor Ariza. Bryant finished with 22 points and eight rebounds while Brown Jr score 13 points and had five assists.
There was more than enough fire power on both teams that several double-digit leads were created and erased throughout the night. It was truly a game of runs.
In games like this, the little things are magnified. The Nuggets only turned the ball over eight times, one of the reasons is that their point guard is essentially their center. Jokic does a good job of not turning it over for as much as he has the ball in his hands when facilitating. The Wizards only turned it over three more times, but in a one or two possession game, that’s big.
Washington did a good job of getting to the line, knocking down 20 of their 21 attempts compared to Denver taking just 11 trips. The Nuggets were lights out from three though, knocking down 14 of their 30 attempts while the Wizards connected on just eight of 28.
Both teams moved the ball well, Denver did it a bit more consistently throughout as Washington had some rough stretches, specifically at the end of the third.
The Wizards don’t get much time to process this result as the Miami Heat come to town on Saturday.