Wizards

Kuzma calls shot vs. Pistons a career highlight

Wizards

Kyle Kuzma has the market on game-winning threes for the Wizards this season cornered. He has now won two road games for the Wizards with clutch 3-point shots made from the same corner, to the left of the basket.

He beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Nov. 10 and then on Wednesday he lifted the Wizards to an overtime victory over the Pistons with a very similar shot. This time it was assisted by Spencer Dinwiddie, who made the extra pass to set up the go-ahead bucket.

This one, though, held more significance for Kuzma. He is from Flint, MI and was able to hit a game-winning shot in what was a homecoming for him.

"That moment meant everything to me. Honestly, outside of winning a championship, that was everything. Coming home, growing up a Pistons fan and hitting a game-winner on the floor, with my mom there, that's like a full-circle moment," Kuzma said.

Kuzma had 20 points between the fourth quarter and overtime on Wednesday, 10 points in each frame. He scored 10 of the Wizards' 13 total points in overtime.

Kuzma came through when the Wizards desperately need somebody to step up. They barely scraped away a victory against a lowly 4-20 Pistons team. First, they had to come back from a 12-point deficit then nearly blew it as Detroit went on a 16-3 run to force overtime.

Kuzma's heroics were essential, as the Wizards got the win and snapped a three-game losing streak.

"I just love these type of moments. When you have an opportunity to hit game-winners, that's what you dream of as a kid. when you're in your bedroom playing with your hoop on the wall. Three, two, one; that's just what you live for," he said.

 

Kuzma had 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists in the game. He also talked some trash to the home crowd. After his game-winner, he waved and said 'goodbye' to the fans. Following a shot in the fourth quarter, he put his hand up to his ear.

"Just fans, they always be talking [explective] to me every game. So, I love it. I love hearing it. It gets me going," Kuzma said.

Whatever the motivation, Kuzma has been pivotal for the Wizards in the clutch this season. The NBA defines clutch situations as the final five minutes of regulation or overtime when the game is within five points. He's second on the Wizards in points in in the clutch (2.4/g) while shooting 50% from the field and 46.2% from three. 

His championship experience seems to come in handy, as he's been in many high-pressure situations before.

"He doesn't shy away from those moments and that's key for us," Bradley Beal said.