The Washington Wizards caused their star summer league duo of John Wall and JaVale McGhee to sit out for the last game of the week and it cost them a perfect summer league record, as the team dropped a 109-107 overtime heartbreaker to the New York Knicks at Las Vegas’ Cox Pavilion on July 17. The Knicks came back from a 20-point deficit to upend the Wizards. Five Knicks scored in double figures.

Washington small forward Cartier Martin continued his campaign to make the roster as he led all scorers with 24 points, but also committed six turnovers as the Wizards fell to 4-1 in summer league play.

Washington led 96-93 with just under a minute remaining but committed two turnovers in the waning seconds that allowed New York to tie the game 101-101 and force overtime. Martin’s three-pointer brought the Wizards to within one point with just under a minute left in the extra period, but a charging call on the forward gave New York the ball back to make a free throw and seal the win.

Second-year point guard Toney Douglas led New York with 19 points and six assists. Douglas scored six points in a pivotal third quarter that saw the Knicks cut Washington’s 20-point lead to just six, at 77-71.

While disappointing, the loss won’t overshadow what’s been a productive week for Washington. Wall and McGhee played extremely well during their time in Vegas, with the rookie point guard averaging 23.5 points, 7.8 assists, and connecting on 87 percent of his free throws. The third-year center McGhee averaged 19.5 points and 9.3 rebounds on the week and flashed an array of dunks and post moves that often left packed crowds at Cox Pavilion mesmerized.

“We had a great week,” Wizards coach Flip Saunders told The Washington Post. “John was probably the best guard here, maybe the best player here. JaVale was the best big man here. We want guys we have here to come in and dominate, and they did that.”

 

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO