Aggressive Young steals it at the death
Pacers forward powers team to narrow victory over Wizards with 0.9 seconds left
|INDIANA PACERS||WASHINGTON WIZARDS|
Thaddeus Young's jump shot with 0.9 seconds left on the clock lifted the Indiana Pacers to a 107-105 win over the Washington Wizards yesterday morning (Singapore time).
"I just made a play, that was the biggest thing," Young said of his jumper from three metres.
"My teammates put me in a position to make that play by having a lot of guys on the court that could space the court out."
Washington's Bradley Beal then missed a potential game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in front of 18,100 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse arena.
Paul George led the Pacers with 27 points and teammate Jeff Teague added 23.
Myles Turner, fouled out of the game with 50 seconds left, finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.
"They switched out and denied Paul," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
"Thaddeus did what he was supposed to do and come to the ball.
"With four seconds to go you want to attack the basket. It was the right thing instead of just settling for the hero long jump shot. He put his head down and attacked the basket.
"It was an aggressive move by Thaddeus."
Beal, who hit two free throws to narrow the Pacers' lead to 105-103 with 50 seconds left, had tied the score by hitting a jumper with 15 seconds remaining.
Marcin Gortat tallied 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Wizards (12-15). Teammate John Wall delivered 19 points.
Washington, who went into this game on the back of a three-match winning streak, erased a deficit by scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter to tie it 88-88.
George's basket made it 90-88 and halted the Wizards' run.
In a match where very little separated the two teams, Young put the win down to their refusal to give up.
He said: "We all stuck together and continued to play hard, continued to play through adversity.
"We had an answer for each and every time they scored."
George, watching from behind the three-point line when Young made his final play, paid his tribute to the unsung hero.
He said: "That was a great breakthrough for him.
"Thad is definitely our glue guy, a guy that doesn't necessarily get play calls but does all the little stuff.
"He made a play. Thad was ready for that play.
"They gave him the floor, which pretty much just opened up for him going to his left.
"He finishes with his left."
But there was still time for one final piece of drama after Young's clincher.
Beal's three-point attempt just before time expired was mere inches from stealing victory away from the Pacers, as the shot ricocheted back from the back of the rim.
A relieved McMillan said: "He was wide open.
"I think he was so surprised that he was that wide open.
"A lot of times that's a tough shot to make.
"We got lucky there."
Perhaps Turner summed it up best for the Pacers, saying: "The basketball gods were with us on that one." - WIRE SERVICES
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