----- Markieff Morris hits a jumper with 0.4 left on the clock as the Washington Wizards overcome a 21-point halftime deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 125-124 in overtime Saturday night at the Moda Center.
It was the shot that should have never counted. Markieff Morris nailed a baseline jumper with 0.4 left on the clock in overtime to give the Washington Wizards a 125-124 lead. After a review of the play, Morris clearly stepped out of bounds while faking out Blazers guard, Allen Crabbe but the officials determined that the play could not be reviewed much to the dismay of Head Coach Terry Stotts, his players, and fans on their feet in the Moda Center.
After Damian Lillard missed a desperation three at the buzzer, fans responded by throwing trash onto the floor and filling the arena with a chorus of displeasure. Blazers General Manager, Neil Olshey even gave the officials a piece of his mind after the disappointing loss.
The Oregonian submitted questions to the lead official Rodney Mott for clarification on the final play. Here is the transcript of that interivew.
The game featured offense and a number of furious runs by both teams. Portland (28-36) raced to a 36-30 lead at the end of the first quarter as they shot 65.2% from the field with Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Allen Crabbe combining for 22 points.
The Blazers pushed their lead to 50-33 with eight-minutes to play in the half after a driving bucket by Crabbe, but the Wizards responded with a 16-6 run to cut the Portland lead to seven at 56-49. The Blazers responded with inspiring basketball as they scored 14-straight points in the final four-minutes of the half to push their lead to 70-49. McCollum scored 17 points in the quarter and finished with 25 points in the half while Maurice Harkless scored seven-straight points during that stretch.
Washington (41-24) opened the second half on a 23-12 run to cut the Blazers lead to 10 points at 82-72 with 5:18 to play in the third quarter after a Bradley Beal three-pointer. The Blazers lead by nine-points heading into the fourth quarter at 91-82.
The Wizards continued their comeback by opening the fourth on a 15-7 run to cut the Blazers lead to one-point at 98-97. The Blazers responded with eight-straight points on back-to-back three-pointers from Lillard and Al-Farouq Aminu and a jam by Jusuf Nurkic to push the lead to 106-97.
The Wizards then took command by going on a 15-0 run when the Blazers went 3:22 of the fourth without scoring a point to take a commanding 112-106 lead with 1:10 remaining in the game after a John Wall layup. The Blazers responded by scoring the final six-points of the game with Aminu hitting a clutch three-pointer and Nurkic knocking down two free throws.
Lillard scored nine of the Blazers 12 points in overtime, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Wizards and the big shot by Morris at the end of the game. Lillard had one last desperation shot at the buzzer but it was wide-right.
All five of the Wizards starters scored in double-figures. John Wall finished with 39 points and 9 assists, Bradley Beal scored 26 points, and Marcin Gortat finished with a double-double 15 points and 15 rebounds.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 34 points and Damian Lillard poured in 33 points and 7 assists.
No rest for the Blazers as they start a five-game road trip tomorrow nigh in Phoenix against the Suns.
Chad's Take- Two officials right there by Morris on the baseline and they missed the call. No question the refs cost Portland the game tonight, but the Blazers still have issues they must resolve or they can forget about the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Jusuf Nurkic got into early foul trouble tonight which limited his effectiveness. The Wizards attacked him early and it paid off. Nurkic was held to 7 points and 7 rebounds on the night. The Blazers poor defense and turnovers once again led to their problems. Something that has plagued them all year.
Wizards at Blazers highlights: