Twice, Kelly Oubre couldn't deposit lobs from John Wall into the basket, or it could've been the perfect game and the Wizards could've had seven players score in double figures in Friday's 103-91 win vs. the Orlando Magic.
But the rookie, who stands 6-7 and had a 7-2 wingspan, had a good excuse. He couldn't see, he told CSNmidatlantic.com.
"I didn't have my contacts. That lob (in the fourth quarter) came from my left and I couldn't pick it up," said Oubre, who was 3 of 5 for seven points and five rebounds. "I couldn't see. Make sure everybody knows that."
Oubre had contacts in both eyes through the third quarter but in the fourth he needed another and a spare couldn't be located.
Nonetheless, the Wizards were able to break open a score that was tied at 72 after three quarters with the rookie playing all 12 minutes of the fourth. Oubre's plus-minus was 13, tied with Ramon Sessions for the highest on the roster, as he played 21 total minutes.
"He had enough faith to keep me in the game so I didn't want to let my team down," Oubre said. "That's was a little motivation I had, making sure I was making the right decisions on defense."
Oubre stole an entry pass to Tobias Harris and got on the break for a lob that would've made it a two-possession lead. Instead, the miss ignited the break in the other direction as Harris' lay tied the score at 78. The next missed lob came with the Wizards leading 91-81.
For coach Randy Wittman, it's what Oubre did on the other end of the floor that mattered. It was an about-face from how the 20-year-old played in Wednesday's 94-91 loss at the Toronto Raptors.
"It's the best defensive game he's had as a pro," Wittman said. "He defended with energy. Deflections. Deflections are so huge. His communication. He was into the game. (Against) Toronto he was kind of just out there. He was involved in this game. He was rebounding. He was running. He missed two alley-oops.
"He's a kid that's got to go out and just play one way. ... All the other things will come."
Oubre caught a pass from Wall late in the second quarter and he was wide open for a three-pointer that he knocked down for a 48-43 lead.
"It was a different tone that we set early than in Toronto," Oubre said. "They punched us first. We punched (the Magic) first. That's the team we need to (be) every night in order to be successful."
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