The hard work it required for the Wizards to get back into the game with the Memphis Grizzlies after trailing by 15 early was shattered by the three-point shooting of center Marc Gasol, who forced overtime with a long ball and closed it out there with two more.
The Wizards (0-2) led by as many as eight and 100-97 after two free throws from John Wall. But Gasol drilled a three about a foot outside the three-point arc for the extra period where the Grizzlies prevailed 112-103 Sunday at FedEx Forum.
There, the Wizards failed to score until 17.7 seconds remained in the extra period when Marcus Thornton made a three-pointer.
Memphis (2-1) was led by Mike Conley (24 points, 13 assists), Zach Randolph (22 points, seven rebounds), Gasol (20 points, 10 rebounds) and Vince Carter (18 points).
Wall had his second double-double (22 points, 13 assists) and Marcin Gortat (14 points, 12 rebounds) had his first of the season.
- The tied turned with 3:17 left, with Wall's Flagrant 1 foul on Carter, whacking him across the head to stop a transition layup. The Wizards led 96-88 but Carter made two free throws, the Grizzlies got the ball and Conley drained a stepback three-pointer to change the momentum.
- Wall, who had a career-high 12 technical fouls last season, drew his first at 7:19 of the second quarter after he didn’t get whistles on consecutive drives to the basket and he missed. The good thing for the Wizards is he didn’t get discouraged and he finished 8-for-19. His ability to get into the defense put them in scramble mode and allowed for trailers to swoop in for point-blank finishes. Wall had consecutive three-point plays in the last two minutes of the first half.
- The Wizards shot 4-for-22 from three-point range, a major weakness in their arsenal despite how well they shot at times in the preseason. Bradley Beal (14 points) was 2-for-8 and Otto Porter (13 points) missed all five of his attempts.
- Gasol made three three-point shots all of last season. He went 4-for-6 in this game. He made two more in overtime for a 107-100 lead and again for 112-100. The 7-footer had never made more than three in a season. Having Gortat have to step out that far from the basket to defend put him in a tough spot.
- Beal wasn't restricted by foul trouble in this game and played 39 minutes. His stat line remains mostly empty. He had just three rebounds and one assist though his attacks on the basket with the dribble remain. He still is making creative finishes around the rim and breaking down defenders with his hesitation dribble, but 5-for-17 won't get it done.
- Wall had the final shot to win it in regulation but only got an off-balance look that had no prayer because Conley didn't allow him to turn the corner. Those end-of-game possessions for the Wizards have been problematic before Brooks' arrival. When asked after the game why he didn't use a timeout, Brooks said it was because he had a veteran group that he trusted. Some coaches call timeout no matter what. Others take the temperature of their team and try to catch the defense on its heels. Most of the time, Wall will end up taking the shot in that situation and it's a low percentage one. And whistles in that situation are unlikely.