“It’s good!” Webster said he told himself when Crawford released the ball from 31 feet. “That’s where J.C. be shooting from. In practice, warmups, he shoots from there.”
Webster was back in the place where he spent the first five seasons of his career and received a loud ovation when he was introduced before the game. He connected on four three-pointers and had a few dunks that elicited a few more cheers from his former fans.
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“I feel great. This is the best I felt the last five years,” Webster said. “I don’t really look at it individually. All I know is that I just wanted to come out with a sense of urgency and be focused. To gather more wins. That’s our goal.”
Crawford, the Wizards’ leading scorer for much of the season, was playing just his third game since missing the previous four with a bone bruise in his left ankle and surpassed his point total from the previous two games. After Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum (12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds) made a layup to cut Washington’s lead to 77-75, Crawford scored the Wizards’ next eight points, hitting a tough jumper and two three-pointers to give his team an 85-77 lead.
“That’s a perfect example. It doesn’t matter how long you play, when you come to the court, you need to give it your best, and he did that,” Nene said of Crawford.
Rookie of the year favorite Damian Lillard (18 points) brought Portland back to 91-90 on an incredible dunk over Nene. Wall tried to respond with a jumper but missed badly, before Nene stole the ball from J.J. Hickson and decided to take on the point guard duties for a few seconds. He dribbled the length of the court and fed Webster for a dunk.
Wall then stole the ball from Lillard and dunked to give the Wizards a 95-90 lead with 58.8 seconds left. On the verge of unraveling once again, Crawford made sure they left town with a win.
“I get the opportunity, I want to take advantage of it,” Crawford said. “It ain’t about bad games or good games, really. It’s about opportunity. Sometimes the game will go our way, sometimes it won’t, just staying with it. I think everybody is getting that confidence that we can win each night.”