There were so many frantic moments in Washington’s triple-overtime win over Toronto on Thursday night, so many near-misses and sixth fouls and banged-up bodies and surprising rallies, that it was hard to keep everything straight by the end. So I just went to sleep.
A few hours later, though, the thing that stuck with me — more than Marcin Gortat’s career night, more than Bradley Beal’s disqualified game winner, more than Andre Miller’s first-half excellence — was the sheer quantity of John Wall highlights. Sure, that would be a lot less compelling in a loss. But the Wizards won.
Here, then, are five Wall moments to remember from this most memorable win. In no particular order:
With about 30 seconds left in triple overtime, Wall got himself one-on-one at the top of the key against Tyler Hansbrough. That wasn’t fair. His layup put the Wizards up by four, giving him the last of his 31 points.
With less than 30 seconds left in the first overtime, Wall got the ball against DeMar DeRozan with his team down by two. With this effortless inside-out dribble, Wall flew past the defender and tied the score; no one would score again in that overtime session. Wall, in fact, scored Washington’s final six points of the first overtime session.
The reason that previous basket held up? In part, it was because Wall blocked Kyle Lowry’s go-ahead attempt as time expired at the other end. Then he oh-so-innocently stepped over Lowry’s fallen body.
THROWING HIS BODY INTO THE STANDS
This play came with the Wizards up by eight in the third quarter of a regular season game in February. But yeah, I’m sure NBA players don’t try hard, or whatever. And yes, the Raptors did wind up with the ball here after some more pinballing action. Still.
SAVING THE GAME
Honestly, the two most important plays Wall made in that game came on consecutive Toronto possessions in the third overtime. First came this steal, where Wall came out of nowhere to knock the ball away, leading to a Trevor Ariza go-ahead dunk. On Toronto’s next possession, Wall stripped the ball from Greivis Vasquez and got it ahead to Martell Webster, who put Washington up by four with a minute left. Those two defensive plays would be easy to forget, but that was when Wall took over the game.