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Wizards edge Trail Blazers 125-124 with controversial end
By ANNE M. PETERSON
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) While the Wizards celebrated, Damian Lillard was seething.
The Trail Blazers guard pleaded to the officials that Markieff Morris stepped out of bounds before his go-ahead baseline jumper with 0.4 seconds left. The officials said there was nothing they could do.
That gave Washington a 125-124 overtime victory over Portland on Saturday night.
"They said `We can't review it.' I guess that's the rules but I don't understand why we have all these cameras and all this technology in the arena if we're not going to be able to review a play that determines a win or a loss," Lillard said.
John Wall had 39 points and Bradley Beal added 26 for Washington, which erased a 21-point halftime deficit on the way to its fifth straight win.
It looked as if the Blazers might pull this one out until the final seconds. The crowd at the Moda Center howled in protest of the non-call on Morris and the players pointed to the video replay to no avail. Even Wall admitted after the game that Morris appeared to step out.
"It was almost like we won the championship game," Beal said. "Guys were running around the locker room, beating on the lockers and throwing water around. It was crazy. It was electrifying, we were excited. Especially for a game like that when you claw back and fight."
Lillard hit a 28-foot 3-pointer to give Portland a 120-117 lead in the extra period. Wall's layup and Marcin Gortat's tip-in gave the Wizards the lead, but Lillard answered with a floater and a layup that put the Blazers up 124-121 with 35.7 seconds left.
Allen Crabbe fouled Beal from 3-point range with 31.8 seconds left. Beal missed the first free throw but made the other two.
After Wall blocked Lillard's jumper on the other end, Morris connected on his clutch shot. With the crowd still protesting, Lillard missed a rushed, off-balance 3-pointer. Some fans threw debris on the floor as the players departed.
Official Rodney Mott said he did not see Morris step out of bounds, and it was not a reviewable matter. The officials looked at the replay following the game.
"Yes, we looked at it, and if it was reviewable, it would have been called out of bounds, Portland's ball," Mott told a pool reporter.
CJ McCollum scored 34 points for Portland, which had won four in a row. Lillard had 33.
It was the fourth game in five nights for the Wizards, who beat the Kings in Sacramento 130-122 on Friday.
"We all have 82 games to play and coach and you have to do your best each game. You can't give into the schedule," Wizards coach Scott Brooks said.
The Wizards put together a 15-0 run, capped by layups from Otto Porter Jr. and Wall, to take a 112-106 lead in the fourth.
Al-Farouq Aminu's 3-pointer with 52.8 seconds left got Portland close, and Jusuf Nurkic made two free throws to tie it at 112. Wall missed a 16-footer from out front to send the game into overtime.
The Blazers were coming off a 114-108 overtime victory at home over the 76ers on Thursday night. Nurkic, acquired in a trade with Denver last month, had a breakout game with a career-high 28 points and 20 rebounds, along with eight assists and six blocked shots.
Nurkic stayed on Portland's bench for a long while after his teammates had already departed to the locker room following the loss. He finished with seven points and seven rebounds.
Wizards: After Brooks was told how even the two teams' guard combos were - Lillard and McCollum averaging 45 points a game, while Wall and Beal average 41 - he joked: "Maybe we should just go 2-on-2, full court." .. . It was the fourth straight game that Wall has scored 25-plus points.
Trail Blazers: Portland's 70 halftime points were just three off the team's high set against Indiana on Nov. 30. ... It was the seventh time Lillard and McCollum have each had 30-plus points.
"Sometimes it seems like we think the game starts at 8 o'clock. Maybe I should tell them it's a 7 o'clock game so they get ready to play," Brooks said.
Wizards: Visit the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday.
Trail Blazers: Head to Phoenix to play the Suns on Sunday.
Updated March 12, 2017