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Scott Brooks Leans on John Wall, Jeff Green in Fourth Quarter for Another Wizards’ Win

The Washington Wizards have their first win streak of the season, beating the Orlando Magic Monday 117-109. The home win avenged a loss to the Magic on Friday in Orlando. And they can thank yet another late-game adjustment from head coach Scott Brooks.

Once again, Brooks leaned on his most dependable players in the fourth quarter, going small in the process. And once again, the lineup centered around the two-man combination of John Wall and Jeff Green.

The two combined for 19 points in the final frame, as the Wizards outscored the Magic 34-26 in the final quarter.

Green played the entire quarter, scoring 10 points off 4-of-5 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. His lone miss was a desperation heave to avoid a 24-second shot clock violation.

Wall added nine points and four assists in 7:22 of action in the quarter. His production was highlighted with 5-of-8 shooting from the free throw line.

With the game close, Brooks leaned on Wall and Green’s high pick-and-pop. Green set the screens, and Wall was nearly perfect reading the defense whether the pick or both defenders rolled with him or left him one-on-one with the pull-out defender.

Here, Wall draws both Evan Fournier and Nikola Vucevic coming off the screen from Green, who slipped back to the wing. Wall saw the coverage and found the wide-open Green for a trey to extend the Wizards’ lead to 99-94.

Here, Aaron Gordon goes over the screen from Green and trails Wall, who recognizes that and sees he has Vucevic in front of him but with Terrence Ross cheating off the corner into the lane, Wall adjusted knifing through the traffic and finishing with a fade away from Vucevic’s reach for the bucket.

And then there’s exhibit C, in which a Wall draws the attention of Vucevic off the slip screen from Green, losing sight of the rolling Green, who Wall finds with an alley hoop.

It’s a combination and a scheme that has been a struggle to stop in the last three games for the Magic and Miami Heat.

Brooks also played Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre the entire fourth quarter over starters Otto Porter and Dwight Howard. Morris was a presence in the post on both ends of the floor, slowing down the Vucevic, as the Magic center shot just 1-of-5 in the fourth, and putting pressure on the defense drawing six free throws in the process, making five.

Oubre did not take a shot in the final frame, but his defensive tenacity was critical. He got a huge defensive stop, drawing a jump ball after stripping Magic guard Jonathon Simmons. Oubre won the jump ball leading to Wall finding Green for three on the other end.

Meanwhile, Brooks opted for Bradley Beal over Austin Rivers in the final seven minutes as opposed to Saturday’s win with Beal free of foul trouble as opposed in the last game against Miami. Beal added an alternative to the two-man game of Wall and Green, with a three off a curl and a layup off a Wall feed.

Wall finished with a game-high 25 points and 10 assists. Green finished with 18 points adding six rebounds and two steals. Beal finished with 21 points.

As the season developed with the Wizards struggling, Brooks tweaked lineups for his more dependable players in the fourth quarter. The results have been positive thus far, as the Wizards are a plus-22 in the fourth quarter over their last three games.

Yes, it’s the Magic and Heat, but beggars cannot be choosers. The Wizards need wins, falling into a 2-9 hole on the season, and now with Brooks calling the right numbers in down the stretch, Washington is riding a two-game win streak with the hapless Cleveland Cavaliers coming to Capital One on Wednesday night.



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