Wizards win thriller
John Wall exploded for 31 points and former UNR center JaVale McGee added 29 for Washington on Friday night.
But it was Lester Hudson that buried a jumper from the top of the key at the buzzer to lift the Wizards to a 90-89 victory over New Orleans at Cox Pavilion in what was easily the best game of the NBA Vegas Summer League thus far.
Craig Brackins had hit a 3-pointer with just 2.2 seconds remaining to put the Hornets ahead, but the excitement was short-lived.
Wall had 29 points through three quarters and McGee took over down the stretch. Potentially the starting center for the Wizards, McGee made 13 of 16 attempts from the field and pulled down eight rebounds.
Maurice Ager paced New Orleans with 23 points in a game that featured 12 ties and 14 lead changes. Kyle Hines added 15 points and 14 rebounds for Washington.
Over at the Thomas & Mack, summer league scoring leader J.J. Hickson scored 21 points and Pooh Jeter added 21 to help Cleveland to an 81-80 win over Chicago.
The Cavaliers erased a 17-point deficit to remain unbeaten. Jeter added seven assists and hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 6.9 seconds remaining.
Samardo Samuels led the Bulls with 19 points, and BYU alum Trent Plaisted finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
John Wall and JaVale McGee each played exceptionally well for the Wizards. Wall was penetrating to the basket at will and McGee couldn’t miss. Still the Wizards found themselves down by a point with 2.2 seconds to play. Would they go to their rookie point guard or the more established center playing out of his mind?
Wall was tabbed to throw the inbounds pass and McGee set a screen on the play. The other three players tried to get open and Wall eventually found Lester Hudson, who buried the game-winning jumper.
Washington coach Sam Cassell took credit for the execution.
“This is my summer league team, so that was my play,” he said.
Well, good play Sam.
Could you repeat that?
The national anthem has been quite strange throughout the week. It has been performed at random games with little rhyme or reason.
Several days, there has been just one anthem performed. One day, it wasn’t done at all. Then, without warning, it was sung before all four games at Cox Pavilion, but neither game at the Thomas & Mack Center.
We might now know why. It might be difficult to find people that can do it well. The guy charged with the job before the Washington game was a complete disaster. He got several words wrong, which is unfortunately all too common.
The guy worked in a “bright stripes and bright stars,” followed by a “rocket red glare.” Okay, maybe you can look past that.
But then he became unraveled. As he continued, he was clearly lost. He somehow managed to hang on until he got to the line, “Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.”
He clearly had no idea of the proper words and muttered something that was last heard in Charlie Brown’s classroom. He did get it together for “still there” and then finished strong.
But, wow. There were some perplexed looking faces all around the arena, as well as some audible laughter.
Fortunately, there was no anthem before the late game.