Forward Trevor Booker had an ice pack on his left arm in the Washington Wizards locker room following a 111-108 overtime win against Toronto on Monday night. It was a not-so-subtle reminder of his rugged style around the basket and the toll it can take through the course of a game, especially one in which he played a career-high 43 minutes.
But Booker was in a predicatly pleasant mood despite the soreness because the Wizards had ended a four-game losing streak and dispatched the Raptors three nights after losing in Toronto, 106-89. Among Booker’s most important contribution was a block of forward-center Amir Johnson in overtime that helped preserve a 107-106 lead with 2 minutes 30 seconds to play.
“A pretty big block,” said the 6-foot-8 Booker, whose teammate John Wall had two blocks in overtime. “I think those were the key in tonight’s game in overtime. They got the team hyped. It saved a couple of baskets and helped us win.”
Booker also had four rebounds, three steals and three of the team’s eight blocks to help the Wizards redeem themselves following Friday night. In that game, Booker played 32:29 and scored 13 points with seven rebounds, causing Coach Randy Wittman to give him the start the next night against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Wizards fell behind early against the Clippers, and Booker finished with just four points in a 107-81 loss. In aftermath of that defeat, though, Wittman singled out Booker as one of the few Wizards players who provided energy.
Booker didn’t let up on Monday, when the Wizards went into halftime with a 57-42 lead that grew to 18 in the second half. Booker had 10 points in the first half and made 5 of 6 from the field.
“Trevor always gives us a lot of energy when he is in the game,” Wall said. “Rebounding, blocking shots and making all the big hustle plays.”
It was the fourth time in six games Booker has scored at least 13 points. He had 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting in a 102-99 win against Charlotte on Jan. 28 and 14 in the next game as well when Washington lost to Chicago, 98-88.
Over his past six games, Booker has made 31 of 46 shots (67 percent) and collected 36 rebounds. He's also had 12 blocks, including four consecutive games with at least two.
“He’s been good,” Wittman said of the 23rd overall pick by Minnesota in 2010. “He’s brought us that toughness on the front line.”