WASHINGTON (AP) — Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 30.8 seconds remaining and the Washington Wizards beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-118 Tuesday night despite being without star Bradley Beal because of health and safety protocols.
The Thunder lost their fifth straight game, and the key possession came with about a half-minute to play and the score tied at 118. The Wizards worked the shot clock down, and Caldwell-Pope’s attempt from the right wing went in off the glass. He responded by holding both arms out, apparently in relief, disbelief or both.
Luguentz Dort missed everything on a 3 at the other end, and Kyle Kuzma made a free throw with 13.3 seconds left.
Kuzma led the Wizards with 29 points, and Spencer Dinwiddie had 22 points and 10 assists. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Thunder with 32 points, including two straight layups that tied it at 118.
Washington improved to 17-4 in clutch situations, defined as the final 5 minutes with a point difference of five points or fewer. In this game, neither team led by more than four through the entire fourth quarter.
Playing the first of eight consecutive home games on this stretch in the schedule, the Wizards took an 18-8 lead in the first quarter. Oklahoma City responded with a 12-0 run, and the Thunder eventually led by eight early in the second.
Gilgeous-Alexander scored 18 points in the first half, and Kuzma had 16 on 7-of-7 shooting. Oklahoma City led 61-58 after two quarters.
Beal went into the health and safety protocols for the second time in under three weeks. Last time, he said he didn’t have COVID-19 and it was due to contact tracing.
Thunder: Oklahoma City was missing Isaiah Roby and Kenrich Williams due to health and safety protocols.
Wizards: Washington shot 54% from the field. Kuzma finished 12 of 17.