NBA

Gortat leads Wizards to overtime victory over Bucks

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The Canadian Press
11/27/2013 11:03:06 PM
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MILWAUKEE -- The Wizards' Marcin Gortat knew he was going to have opportunities to score against the Bucks and he took advantage of them.

With Washington teammate Nene drawing double-teams coming off his big game against the Lakers, Gortat scored 25 points on 11-of-12 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Wizards to a 100-92 win in overtime over Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

"After how well Nene played last night, I knew he would get double-teamed tonight and that would give me some more looks," Gortat said. "I felt great out there and was able to get into a rhythm. It was a lot of fun."

John Wall, who had scored more than 30 points in his last three games, added 19 points, 6 assists and 5 steals. Nene finished with nine points a night after getting 30 in a win over Los Angeles.

The win was the Wizards' third straight and fifth in their last six and came despite the Bucks' O.J. Mayo hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

Wizards coach Randy Wittman said in past years, his team would have gotten down after Mayo's shot.

"In past seasons, we would have put our heads down and not competed in the overtime," he said.

Wittman was particularly pleased with his team's defence in the fourth quarter and overtime.

The Wizards held the Bucks to just Mayo's 3-pointer during the last four minutes of the game and to five points in the overtime. The Bucks hit 1 of 8 shots during the last four minutes and 2 of 8 in overtime.

"It was not the prettiest win, but in this league any win is a good win," he said. "I'm an old-school coach and I believe that defence wins game more than offence. And tonight we really played well late in the game."

The loss was the Bucks' 10th straight, the longest streak since Milwaukee lost 15 in a row from March 4-30, 1996. Mayo led the Bucks with 21 points and Khris Middleton added 13 points. Bucks coach Larry Drew said the game went to overtime because Milwaukee failed to execute at the end.

"Going down the stretch in regulation, we just made some bad plays," he said. "I thought the effort was there. But in close games against a team like Washington, you just have to make plays going down the stretch and we didn't."

Ersan Ilyasova said the Bucks cannot let the losing streak impact them.

"With the losing streak, there's a lot to do in practice, but mentally we have to come together and figure out what to do to start winning games," he said. "There's a lot of games in front of us and we still have a chance to turn this thing around. "

In the overtime, Gortat scored twice and Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:35 remaining to give Washington a 96-90 lead and the Wizards held on for the win.

The Bucks went on a 12-2 run midway through the fourth quarter to grab an 80-78 lead when Brandon Knight scored on a driving layup with 5:53 remaining.

Webster hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 57.2 seconds left to tie the game 84-84 and was fouled by Mayo but missed the free throw.

Webster was upset about missing the free throw, but pleased with how the Wizards responded to get the win.

"When you have team like that which is struggling for an identity, you have to get the win," he said. "It would have been easy for us to struggle down the stretch, but we did what we had to do to get the win."

Ariza stole the ball from Knight near midcourt and scored on a layup with 39.8 seconds to go. The Bucks missed two shots and Ariza was then fouled with 12.7 seconds remaining, but hit only one of two free throws to make the score 87-84 and set the stage for Mayo's tying 3-pointer.

NOTES: Wizards guard Bradley Beal missed his second straight game due to a stress injury to his right fibula. Beal leads the NBA with 40.2 minutes per game and is averaging 20.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. ... Bucks centre Zaza Pachulia hit 1 of 2 free throws in the game. Entering the game, Pachulia had missed just 2 of his 35 free throws this season.The Bucks unveiled the team's new court for the game. The court was to be used at the beginning of the season, but had to be resurfaced after players slipped during an Oct. 25th pre-season game, forcing the contest to be cancelled.

Marcin Gortat vs. Bucks (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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