An 18-point lead had all but evaporated for the Wizards, but coach Scott Brooks made a small adjustment in the fourth quarter to get them rolling to win again on the road.
He went to Bradley Beal to begin the fourth quarter with the New Orleans Pelicans, not Tomas Satoransky, as he had two starters with three reserves. The other starter was Markieff Morris.
Trey Burke and Jason Smith had buckets, but it was five points from Morris and a three-pointer by Beal that put up the Wizards 87-80 with 7:40 left,
"I thought Keef was huge in that second half, especially in that fourth quarter when we were not playing well," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said of what would become a 107-94 victory. "He came in and gave us buckets, gave us rebounds, gave us a confidence we could get back to how we were playing."
The Wizards briefly lost the lead late in the third quarter on a jumper from Anthony Davis but regained it 74-73 for good. That's when Brooks broke from his routine and inserted Beal.
Less than three minutes after that three-pointer, the Wizards were back up double digits with a three each from Morris and Beal. While the reserves defended well, they only contributed 11 points.
"There’s going to be nights off the bench they score more. There are going to be nights that they don't," Brooks said. "I thought Brad came in, Keef came in that fourth quarter and gave us a lift. I put Brad in there a few minutes extra earlier. I felt our offense was stagnant and we needed a scorer like Brad. That gave us some stability going into that fourth quarter."
In the previous game, on Friday at the Atlanta Hawks, Brooks went with just one starter (Otto Porter) to bein the fourth with the second unit. But that game was a blowout.
In a win over the Charlotte Hornets, Brooks went with Beal to start the fourth with Morris because their lead was tenous at 80-74 entering the fourth.
Morris routinely begins the second and fourth quarters to with the second unit. Beal played 39 minutes and Morris was at 37, but both played well under 30 in the blowout of Atlanta.
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