The last time Markieff Morris had a chance to win the game at the end for the Wizards, he had a wide-open three that hit the back of the rim in a loss at the Orlando Magic.
That miss in Orlando came in just the fifth game of the season, when the Wizards were a very different team (and without John Wall). Saturday, it was their 65th when Morris buried a pull-up jumper with 0.4 of a second left for a 125-124 overtime win.
Their weapons are multiplying with Otto Porter and Bojan Bogdanovic also capable in similar situations.
Morris' shot was all net. There was more time (6.8 seconds) to set up the final shot compared to Orlando when Morris missed (0.8 of a second).
"It was a redeemer for him," said Bradley Beal, who caught the inbound pass off a curl and found Morris spotting up in the corner for thie assist.
"It was a great play drawn up. I knew they were keying on me."
The execution went perfectly, unlike in early-season losses at the Magic, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs when the Wizards had chances to clinch road games but didn't.
They either didn't make the shot or were forced to take a more difficult look because the play broke down on a poor route run by Beal or a poor screen set by Morris to free him to catch the ball.
Porter, who was the inbounder and almost always is, found Beal with a crisp pass and they got the play underway without a hitch. That allowed Beal to survey all of his options as he got away from Allen Crabbe who trailed him but faced Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic helping to stop his drive to the rim. When Mo Harkless converged as well as he left Morris in the corner, that opened the door for the pass and the finish.
The Wizards (41-24) have jumped the Boston Celtics in the East standings and have drawn even closer to the Cleveland Cavaliers who lost Sunday. They're now just two games back of the No. 1 seed.
"It's almost like we won a championship," Beal said of the atmosphere at Moda Center following the lastest win. "We were throwing water around the locker room, beating down lockers, it was electrifying. It was exciting."
While that might sound extreme, it's a steppingstone in the evolution under a young backcourt of Wall and Beal.
They didn't have a good track record of closing out games like this. But Wall hit a game-winner to beat the Chicago Bulls on Jan. 10.
It's not about Beal or Wall forcing the shot for the sake of saying they took the shot. It's about getting the best shot available provided the play execution is sound. Otherwise it becomes a broken play such as the off-balance heave from Porter vs. the Thunder that went awry.
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It wasn't that the Wizards weren't trying to get the ball to Beal because he's likely to draw the most defenders, he's good enough off the dribble to beat the coverage, he can finish through contact and has the play-making ability to set up a teammate if all else fails. But coach Scott Brooks cleared the strong side of the floor for Beal to exploit Portland's defense that was destined to suck in and help on the drive. Morris was the beneficiary.
"That just shows our will to not quit," said Morris, who was short on words after the 21-point comeback that ended in controversy because replays showed his left foot stepped out of bounds. "That's what we did."
Even if the Wizards were to lose tonight's game at the Minnesota Timberwolves to end a five-game road swing, they will have set a new standard. They haven't gone 4-1 on such a trip since 1973, but if they do win it will be the first time they went undefeated in five consecutive road games, according to the team's PR staff.